Opposition party the Democratic Alliance (DA) says while it welcomes Bell Pottinger’s apology issued in a statement and the dismissal of key employees and partners who were at the forefront of the company’s racially divisive campaign in South Africa on behalf of the Guptas and President Zuma, it is “not enough”.
The company yesterday confirmed that it had dismissed the lead partner involved and suspended another partner and two employees over accusations that it supported and aided campaigns to stir up racial division in South Africa through its work for Gupta-owned Oakbay Capital.
This apology comes at the back of continued pressure from the DA by reporting the company to UK-based regulatory bodies for their role in initiating campaigns to stir racial tensions in South Africa.
The party says if this apology was to be taken seriously, the company would fully disclose all the dealings with the Gupta family and President Jacob Zuma.
“More pertinently, they would commit to using all profits obtained from Gupta business deals to investing in building schools or any developmental non-government organizations in South Africa.
Until then, their apology is nothing but a PR-stunt brought on by the public pressure applied by the DA and the South African public. The DA now intend on pursuing the matter with the PCRA and expect that Bell Pottinger reverts within 5 days as announced in our statement.
Meanwhile the Rand Daily Mail reports Bell Pottinger’s apology for an offensive social media campaign in South Africa is “insufficient and totally unacceptable”‚ according to the Save South Africa campaign.
“Bell Pottinger – acting in partnership with its client – sowed racial mistrust‚ hate and race-baiting‚ and divided society. Through its work‚ this British company has further polarized South African society and left deep scars in our social fabric‚” said a statement by the Save South Africa campaign.
“It cannot be left to hide behind spin and say it was ‘misled’. This attempted naivety is unacceptable from a company with a global history of disinformation and dirty tricks.
“We therefore demand to know who it worked with in South Africa‚ what its brief was‚ and who provided that brief – and‚ most importantly‚ who it was ‘misled’ by.”
Twitter was buzzing with reaction to the statement with #BellPottinger trending early on Friday.