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Johannesburg - The Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA) has upheld the DA's complaint against former Gupta PR firm Bell Pottinger, the party announced on Thursday. 

This after a hearing into the firm's conduct concluded last week Friday in London.

The hearing came after the party laid a complaint with the PRCA over Bell Pottinger's violation of the association's Professional Charter and Code of Conduct.

The DA accused the firm of sowing racial divisions through their work with the company and controversial family. 

Bell Pottinger originally came under fire when their working relationship with Oakbay was exposed, prompting them to cut ties with the company. 

The PR firm has since issued an apology over the saga. 

Phumzile van Damme, DA Shadow Minister of Communications, confirmed that the party's complaint against Bell Pottinger has been upheld.

"This means that the PRCA Professional Practices Committee has agreed that Bell Pottinger did indeed violate its Professional Charter, and/or its Public Affairs and Lobbying Code of Conduct.

"In a statement last week, the PRCA indicated that '[i]f the complaint(s) are not upheld, the Professional Practices Committee’s decision will be provided to Bell Pottinger and the PRCA will publish the decision by 24th August'."

Van Damme said that following this confirmation, Bell Pottinger will now be given five days to appeal the PRCA’s decision if it so chooses.

If the PR firm appeals, the PRCA’s Board of Management will consider the appeal and either approve, amend, or overrule the decision by the Professional Practices Committee, van Damme explained. 

The final decision will then be published during the week of September 4, 2017.

"The DA looks forward to the PRCA’s full decision regarding disciplinary action against Bell Pottinger. As soon as we receive this we will communicate on it.

"We trust that a strong sanction will be given against Bell Pottinger."