Bell Pottinger apology insufficient, unacceptable – #SaveSA demands full disclosure

Save South Africa media response to Bell Pottinger apology:

Read more: Bell Pottinger’s full, unequivocal, absolute apology for selling Gupta lies

The Save South Africa campaign demands full disclosure from British PR firm Bell Pottinger about the exact nature of its dirty tricks campaigns while contracted to the Guptas’ Oakbay companies.

An apology is insufficient and totally unacceptable in these circumstances.

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.

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.

We also demand to know:

  • Whether it channeled money to front organisations which themselves fuelled even further division, such as Black First Land First and the so-called Decolonisation Foundation, as alleged in the report released by the SACP.
  • What its relationship was with the Gupta propaganda arms, such as ANN7 and the New Age.
  • Whether it has done work for any other entities that form part of the Gupta web of influence, including captured South African government departments and state-owned entities.
  • Whether it continues to do work for South African clients.

It is public pressure on Bell Pottinger that got us this far, and resulted in two major victories: the termination of its contract with Oakbay, and its public apology. But we must keep up the pressure, and demand full disclosure. Only then can we begin to unravel the mess that Bell Pottinger – and the Guptas – have caused, and address the damage they have left in their wake.

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