NEWS

DA: Henderson Resignation Is Not Enough

James Henderson has resigned as CEO of Bell Pottinger ahead of a report into the company's Gupta dealings.

04/09/2017 06:17 SAST | Updated 04/09/2017 06:17 SAST
Getty Images for Bell Pottinger
James Henderson (L) and Hon Andrew Mitchell MP attend the Bell Pottinger Summer Party at Lancaster House in 2015 in London, England. Photo by David M. Benett/Getty Images for Bell Pottinger

Bell Pottinger and its former CEO James Henderson should pay back the R20 million the firm reportedly earned from the Guptas if they are truly sorry about their actions, the DA said. This follows the resignation of Henderson from the PR firm on Sunday, confirmed by the Financial Times.

Henderson resigned as an independent report is due to reveal whether or not Bell Pottinger acted ethically while handling the accounts of the Guptas and their companies. The report was scheduled for release on Monday and follows a complaint laid by the DA with the UK's regulatory body, Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA).

News24 reported that in a statement, the DA's Phumzile Van Damme said Henderson's resignation was not enough.

"Henderson is on record stating that he would publicly release the report... by the end of August. August has ended and no report has been released.

"Instead, we receive news of his resignation, a move no doubt designed to appease. The DA is not appeased," she reportedly said.

Bell Pottinger is reportedly appealing a sentence by the PRCA, which found it guilty of violating its Professional Charter and/or its Public Affairs and Lobbying Code of Conduct on August 24.

According to the Financial Times, Henderson bought a large chunk of Bell Pottinger in 2012 along with the firm's co-founder, Lord Bell. While Henderson maintained he did not have anything to do with the Gupta accounts directly, he said he had taken responsibility as CEO.

"The relevant team has been dealt with, the chief executive has now gone, the business can move forward and put all this behind it. That is key," he reportedly said.