JOHANNESBURG – Some civil society organisations have requested to be part of an investigation into Bell Pottinger to ensure the British PR company’s conduct is viewed in a South African context.
The Helen Suzman Foundation, Section 27 and Save SA have written to Bell Pottinger requesting that it hand over the documents which form the basis of its independent investigation into its own dealings with Gupta-owned company Oakbay.
This move follows the announcement that the UK agency will appear before a hearing committee next month set up by the Public Relations and Communications Institute, in connection with some of the work it has done for the Gupta family.
The Helen Suzman Foundation’s Anton van Dalsen says: “They have an appropriately informed understanding of the South African Constitution, its legal framework, its history regarding race and sectarian politics and the challenges which the country faces. So I think our main concern is that whoever sees the independent audit, has proper context and background to judge that within.”
The Democratic Alliance’s Marshalle Frederiks says that the party, who lodged the complaint as well as Bell Pottinger, have been given 10 days to submit summaries of their respective cases.
“The DA welcomes the decision to institute a disciplinary hearing into the conduct of Bell Pottinger following a complaint by the DA’s Phumzile van Damme and we’ll continue to push to make sure Bell Pottinger pays back the money from the Gupta account to South Africa.”