SA social media has been in overdrive for the past 24 hours following the resignation of Bell Pottinger CEO James Henderson, the release of a damning report on Bell Pottinger's racially divisive Oakbay account, and -- the big one -- that Bell Pottinger has been expelled from the United Kingdom's Public Relations and Communications Agency (PRCA).
PR firm Bell Pottinger will be expelled from the United Kingdom's Public Relations and Communications Agency. https://t.co/YT4LrxEwJw— HuffPost SouthAfrica (@HuffPostSA) September 4, 2017
The PRCA's director Tony Langham said the ruling restored the ethics to public relations.
And the DA were obviously elated at the ruling, which they were instrumental in bringing forward.
The expulsion, loss of lucrative customers, tarnished reputation and the resignation of its key staff will teach #BellPottinger a lesson! ☝️— Democratic Alliance (@Our_DA) September 5, 2017
DA spokesperson, Phumzile Van Damme, however, pointed out the irony of the expulsion that was, for her, bittersweet.
Former public protector, advocate Thuli Madonsela, then asked some important questions.
Consequences of racially divisive diversion campaign are dire for #BellPottinger. What should be the consequences for those that hired them?— Adv Thuli Madonsela (@ThuliMadonsela3) September 4, 2017
And Justice Malala asked a similar question.
South African spin doctor Chris Vick also laid it bare.
'They [Bell Pottinger] should close up shop, play golf, drink a G'nT, keep saying sorry for the rest of their lives'.https://t.co/VVZcyAeFd6— HuffPost SouthAfrica (@HuffPostSA) September 5, 2017
One of the key issues to remember about #bellpottinger is that they were hired by a private company to do work for political organizations— Chris Vick (@chrisvick3) September 4, 2017
And then some South Africans got hectic.
#BellPottinger is evil and whoever hired them is Satanic— ג'יימס המלך (@LeJones_01) September 5, 2017
But they also celebrated.
We did it fellow South Africans, we got #BellPottinger kicked out of UK PR body. We did it because we united even more than fell apart.❤️— NtuthukoMdima🌟 (@Dclantis) September 4, 2017
Journalists, in particular, had a field day.
Bell says it is "impossible" that certain junior members did dodgy work on the Oakbay account without senior management knowing. pic.twitter.com/m1AqeBWTiz— Gugulethu Mhlungu (@GugsM) September 4, 2017
The upside for Bell Pottinger, told to go to blazes by their industry body, is that they'll always find a willing client there.— Gus Silber (@gussilber) September 5, 2017
Surprised ANN7 didn't lead with "DA drives up unemployment in UK". #BellPottinger
— Tom Eaton (@TomEatonSA) September 5, 2017
Bell Pottinger have since spoken up, and said that they would be appealing the ruling. We'll keep you updated if we hear more than that.