President Jacob Zuma's son Duduzane, said in an international interview that he was not involved in any graft charges. Picture: Chris Collingridge
Johannesburg - UK public relations firm, Bell Pottinger, which was hired by the controversial Gupta family, will be appealing the findings that it stoked racial tensions in South Africa through its media campaign.

DA spokesperson on communications Phumzile van Damme said in a statement on Friday that the company had submitted an appeal to the UK’s Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA).

This as the man central to the complaint laid by the DA, President Jacob Zuma's son Duduzane, said in an international interview that he was not involved in any graft charges.

During the BBC interview he claimed that he was hired by the Gupta family because he was a “likeable” guy.

On Friday, the PRCA board of management said it would meet on Monday and would issue a ruling the next day.

The DA had complained to the industry board about a campaign that used the term “white monopoly capital” to describe opponents of Zuma to allegedly divert heat ffrom the Guptas.

Part of the complaint involved claims revealed by the leaked Gupta e-mails which suggested that Duduzane used Bell Pottinger to shape ANC communication to benefit the Guptas.

Van Damme said the DA looked forward to the outcome of the ruling and “we trust that the PRCA will make the right decision in holding Bell Pottinger accountable.

“We reiterate our call for Bell Pottinger to do the right thing and disclose all Gupta contracts and monies from their accounts with the Guptas and reinvest it in South Africa.”

Last week, the PRCA upheld the DA’s complaint and gave Bell Pottinger five days to appeal.

The board found the firm had violated the association's charter which stated that members should “take all reasonable care that professional duties are conducted without causing offence on the grounds of gender, race, religion, disability or any other form of discrimination”.

The maximum penalty the firm could face is termination of their PRCA membership.

The DA said last month that during its work for Oakbay Capital, the Gupta family and Duduzane Zuma, Bell Pottinger “exploited the already sensitive race relations in South Africa. A strong message must be sent to the PRCA that unethical conduct by its members will not be tolerated.”

In his BBC interview, Duduzane said: “There’s no unpacking the relationship and what was in it for them, what was in it for me. It was just a meeting of minds; they understood me, I understood them I look back and I think I’m glad I met these guys and I’m glad we are where we are today.”

When asked if he was concerned he could go to prison for corruption, he responded: “It just crossed my mind now. It’s the first time -  I don’t know if you saw it crossing my mind but it’s gone! I actually saw it crossing now and it’s gone.”

Saturday Star