Picture: Twitter

Cape Town - London-based PR firm Bell Pottinger must face consequences for their collusion with the wealthy, politically connected Gupta family using a hateful and divisive campaign to divide South Africans along the lines of race, Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane said on Saturday.

In a statement on the outcomes of the DA's two-day federal executive (FedEx) meeting in Cape Town, he said the meeting had considered the ongoing scandal involving the Guptas and Bell Pottinger.

"It is greatly encouraging that our call for the Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA) to launch a disciplinary inquiry into Bell Pottinger’s racially fuelled propaganda campaign was heeded, and the inquiry will start on 18 August 2017.

"We have insisted that this inquiry be open to the public. This will ensure that Bell Pottinger faces legal consequences for their actions, and that justice will be served for their promotion of division and racial hatred for cheap political gain in a still deeply divided society. The DA will have public and legal representatives present at the hearing," Maimane said.

Moreover, he had also personally written to a list of companies who procured the services of Bell Pottinger, urging them to terminate their relationship with the firm. Though legal action was effective, "corporations respond to their bottom line faster than they do to judges".

"Bell Pottinger must face consequences for their collusion with the Guptas using a hateful and divisive campaign to divide South Africans along the lines of race. This was a co-ordinated campaign to further Gupta financial interests and ensure the captured ANC continued to provide lucrative contracts that lined Gupta pockets.

"South Africa is not a political playground where international corporations can disregard ethics to turn a profit. Bell Pottinger’s unethical compliance in these projects is unacceptable and the DA has taken steps to ensure they are held to account," Maimane said.
African News Agency