DA argues for Bell Pottinger hearing to be open to public
Note to Editors: Please find attached a soundbite by the DA Shadow Minister of Communications, Phumzile Van Damme MP.
The DA has written to the Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA) to request that the disciplinary inquiry into Bell Pottinger’s racially fueled propaganda campaign for the Guptas and Zumas in South Africa, set for 18 August 2017 in London, be open to the public.
This disciplinary inquiry follows the DA’s complaint that the PR firm violated the PRCA's Code of Conduct.
According to Section 18 of the PRCA’s Arbitration and Disciplinary Procedure, "the proceedings of the Committee shall be held in private unless otherwise agreed by all parties".
Given the public interest in this matter, the DA believes the hearing should be open to all those who wish to attend, including the media.
We have been informed by the PRCA that they will raise the issue with Bell Pottinger. The “all parties” also refers to the disciplinary committee and PRCA has therefore also requested permission from committee members as well.
The DA implores both the committee members and Bell Pottinger to grant our request in the interest of transparency and accountability.
If Bell Pottinger is truly sorry for the damage they have done to race relations in our country by their divisive campaign, they will accede to the DA's request.
The South African people must be allowed to witness this process, as they were the ones that suffered the consequences of Bell Pottinger’s, the ANC and the Guptas’ actions.
People deserve to know the truth and the DA trusts that the Committee and Bell Pottinger will do the right thing and allow this disciplinary to be open to all.
Statement issued by Phumzile Van Damme MP, DA Shadow Minister of Communications, 27 July 2017