NEWS

Two Weeks Until Bell Pottinger D-Day

The Committee will now meet for deliberations and the outcome of the hearing is expected to be announced within 14 days.

18/08/2017 17:50 SAST | Updated 18/08/2017 17:56 SAST
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In two weeks, South Africa will know the outcome of the Bell Pottinger hearing in the United Kingdom.

The Democratic Alliance on Friday presented its evidence during a Public Relations and Communications Association's (PRCA) disciplinary hearing into the embattled PR firm's conduct.

In a statement afterwards, the party said it presented a solid case on how Bell Pottinger allegedly sought to exploit race relations in South Africa.

"The DA is of the view that Bell Pottinger's pro-Gupta propaganda campaign contravened the PRCA's Codes of Conduct. The Committee will now meet for deliberations and the outcome of the hearing is expected to be announced within 14 days," the party said.

"The Committee Chairman will draft a recommendation which will be referred to the PRCA board who will approve, amend, or overrule the decision and if the recommendation is one of suspension or termination, the Board who shall consider the report and recommendations, shall give its judgement in writing."

The firm, which was contracted by the Gupta-owned Oakbay, has been accused of stirring racial tensions in South Africa by propagating the ideology of white monopoly capital to distract from allegations of state capture.

The dossier of emails obtained by amaBhungane and The Daily Maverick between the Guptas, their employees and associates -- now famously known as the Gupta Leaks -- reportedly reveal that Duduzane Zuma (President Jacob Zuma's son) met with Bell Pottinger partner Victoria Geoghegan to devise a massive propaganda campaign about "economic emancipation".

The £100,000 a month strategy was allegedly set up to counter public and media criticism, by using emotive language and phrases relating to economic emancipation -- the slogan white monopoly capital is said to have been the resulting rhetoric.

Geoghegan was sacked and three other Bell Pottinger employees suspended when the company conducted an initial investigation. The company has since contracted an independent international law firm, Herbert Smith Freehills, to audit the Gupta account.