Bell Pottinger got what it deserved. Now South Africa deserves to know what really happened
5 September 2017
The Save South Africa campaign is delighted at the news that British firm Bell Pottinger has been given the harshest possible punishment by the British PR and Communications Association (PRCA).
The global merchants of alternative facts, fake news, dirty tricks and hate speech have finally got what they deserve – expulsion by their peers. And they should hang their heads in shame.
Now, the focus must turn back to the South African end of their operation -- and we repeat our demand for full disclosure of the scope of Bell Pottinger’s activities in our country, including details of:
Who they partnered with in South Africa.
What brief they were given by the son of President Jacob Zuma, Duduzane Zuma.
What their specific mandate was from Oakbay and the Gupta family.
Who “misled” them, and how.
What their relationship was with the Guptas’ propaganda vehicles, ANN7 and the New Age.
Whether they continue to do work for the corrupt Gupta conspiracy, including Duduzane Zuma.
Why they have not responded to reports that they channeled money to political fronts like the Decolonisation Foundation and Black First Land First.
We are particularly offended that Bell Pottinger was commissioned by a private company and yet collaborated in work of a political nature in a sovereign state – among other things, by writing speeches for the ANC Youth League and MK Military Veterans’ Association, as revealed in the “Gupta emails”.
The ANCYL, MKMVA, BLF and the Decolonisation Foundation must explain this – as must the ANC itself.
We still believe that what has been revealed so far -- through Bell Pottinger’s own statements, the report by the law firm it paid to investigate the matter, and the PRCA investigation itself – is just the tip of the iceberg.
Only through full disclosure will we be able to unravel the labyrinth of deceit, disinformation and hate that was built by Bell Pottinger, working hand in hand with Duduzane Zuma and the Guptas.
The Bell Pottinger saga should serve as a warning to all who are involved in disinformation, dirty tricks and inflammatory character assassination. They will face similar people’s action if they attempt similar projects in future.
Issued by Save South Africa, 5 September 2017