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EDINBURGH — Bell Pottinger is the London-based public relations firm that has been creating and guiding a propaganda campaign to keep President Jacob Zuma in power. While propaganda is all part-and-parcel of the work of politicians, sowing racial division in order to keep the corrupt and captured in power is not. The opposition Democratic Alliance has fired the starting gun on UK investigations into Bell Pottinger for inciting civil war. There is evidence in the GuptaLeaks – emails leaked from the heart of the Gupta business empire – and elsewhere that the individuals working for Bell Pottinger on the South African account have gone to whatever lengths necessary to keep their paymasters happy. The firm has been paid millions of pounds for building a white monopoly capital myth and has gone as far as putting words into the mouths of ANC politicians to warn that civil war looms. While some people believe that Victoria Geoghegan and her colleagues should ultimately go to jail for collaborating in criminal activity, the DA has made a start by filing complaints with UK-based public relations organisations that Bell Pottinger has promoted racial hatred in South Africa. Here’s the DA announcement. Scroll to the end to catch up on the main revelations about Bell Pottinger’s nefarious deeds in South Africa. – Jackie Cameron
From Democratic Alliance: Complaints against Bell Pottinger for promoting racial hatred
The DA has written to the UK-based Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA) as well as the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) to lodge formal complaints against Bell Pottinger on allegations that they promoted racial hatred in South Africa.
Duduzane Zuma, in his capacity as a Gupta employee, procured the services of Bell Pottinger in what seems to have been an attempt to divide and conquer the South African public by exploiting racial tensions in a bid to keep Jacob Zuma and the ANC in power.
Bell Pottinger is a member of the PRCA and the CIPR. Both have a clear a code of conduct that PR firms must adhere to.
According to Section 4 of the PRCA Professional Charter pertaining to discriminatory conduct, “[a] member is required to take all reasonable care that professional duties are conducted without causing offence on the grounds of [..] race [..] or any other form of discrimination or unacceptable reference”.
Moreover, Section 1(a), (c) and (d) of the CIPR Code of Conduct, states that “[m]embers of the [CIPR] agree to: a) maintain the highest standards of professional endeavour, integrity, confidentiality, financial propriety and personal conduct; c) respect, in their dealings with other people, the legal and regulatory frameworks and codes of all countries where they practise; d) uphold the reputation of, and do nothing that would bring into disrepute, the public relations profession or the [CIPR]”.
In a leaked Gupta email, Nick Lambert, a Senior Advisor at Bell Pottinger, identifies “key moments” in a speech which was delivered by ANC Youth League Leader, Collen Maine. These key moments include the following quote: “those who want to disrupt the State of the Nation speech must prepare themselves for a civil war”.
It is disturbing that the incitement of a civil war in South Africa is identified as a “key moment” by a Bell Pottinger advisor.
Furthermore, in another email, Bell Pottinger’s Financial and Corporate Partner, Victoria Geoghegan, met with Duduzane Zuma, to strategise a campaign aimed at marketing a “narrative that grabs the attention of the grassroots population who must identify with it, connect with it and feel united by it”.
From this correspondence, it is seems as though Bell Pottinger was likely requested by Mr Zuma, to undermine the ANC’s communication on policies in order to benefit the Gupta family.
The DA has now written to these bodies to lodge formal complaints against Bell Pottinger as it has seemingly violated the Codes of Conduct of these regulatory bodies and behaved in an unethical manner.
We urge the PRCA and the CIPR to fully investigate these allegations, as any attempt by a PR agency to ferment racial divisions in South Africa cannot be tolerated.
Audit of Bell Pottinger relationship with Oakbay
Cape Town – The Democratic Alliance (DA) intends to lodge a formal complaint against UK based public relations firm Bell Pottinger on allegations that it was promoting racial hatred in South Africa.
“The DA has written to the UK-based Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA) as well as the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) to lodge formal complaints against the company,” DA spokesperson on communications Phumzile van Damme said in a statement.
The DA’s move comes after Bell Pottinger has reportedly hired lawyers to audit the work it conducted for the Gupta family. According to the Financial Times, an independent audit will review all aspects of Bell Pottinger’s year-long relationship with Oakbay.
According to the Financial Times, the name of the law firm was not disclosed, out of fears that it would lead to social media attacks.
News24 earlier reported that President Jacob Zuma’s son Duduzane met with Victoria Geoghegan, Bell Pottinger’s financial and corporate partner, to strategise a campaign aimed at marketing a “narrative that grabs the attention of the grassroots population who must identify with it, connect with it and feel united by it”.
Earlier Geoghegan wrote to Duduzane that Bell Pottinger was keen to build a long-term partnership with Zuma, saying that the company want to stand “shoulder-to-shoulder” in communicating a vital message for South Africa, as the future of the country in terms of fair economic growth, an inclusive society and political stability, “depends on it”.
Van Damme said Duduzane’s approaching Bell Pottinger seems to have been an attempt to “divide and conquer” the South African public by exploiting racial tensions in a bid to keep Jacob Zuma and the ANC in power.
“Bell Pottinger is a member of the PRCA and the CIPR. Both have a clear a code of conduct that PR firms must adhere to,” Van Damme said.
The company is said to have used a number of tactics to move attention away from allegations of state capture by the Gupta family, including a series of fake bloggers, commentators and Twitter users in an effort to manipulate public opinion, according to a report “Bell Pottinger – PR support for the Gupta family” that was made public in April this year.
Van Damme said correspondence between Bell Pottinger and Duduzane Zuma makes it seem as though Bell Pottinger was likely requested by the President’s son to undermine the ANC’s communication on policies in order to benefit the Gupta family.
“The DA has now written to these bodies to lodge formal complaints against Bell Pottinger as it has seemingly violated the codes of conduct of these regulatory bodies and behaved in an unethical manner.
“We urge the PRCA and the CIPR to fully investigate these allegations, as any attempt by a PR agency to ferment racial divisions in South Africa cannot be tolerated.”
Bell Pottinger cut ties with Oakbay in April this year, saying in a statement it was forced to step down as the company’s communications adviser because it has been the subject of a smear campaign, with certain of its partners and staff coming under attack.
“It is therefore with regret that we have suggested to Oakbay, and have mutually agreed with them, that we will step down from our role as communications advisers with immediate effect,” the statement read.
For more on the #GuptaLeaks, see:
It has taken only a few years for Geoghegan and her associates to help bring South Africa to its knees – all in the name of personal hubris. Bell Pottinger suggested an initial monthly fee of £100 000 (roughly R1.5m), the #Guptaleaks reveal. There is no way to put it nicely: Victoria Geoghegan represents all that is rotten with the public relations industry and public companies fuelled by short-term shareholder greed. It is hard to imagine a more evil operation than Bell Pottinger. Read more.
It is ironic that a white monopoly capital firm – the London-headquartered Bell Pottinger– was hired by a Gupta entity to orchestrate a campaign to create the monster of white monopoly capital in South Africa. There have been suspicions and allegations that Bell Pottinger put together a devious strategy to defend the Gupta family and President Jacob Zuma by painting them as victims of greedy white racists. Teams of journalists sifting through a massive bank of leaked emails linked to the involvement of the Gupta family in South African government and business have now uncovered evidence that Bell Pottinger also had a hand in propaganda put out by the ANC’s MK and Youth League divisions. Helping to conduct the campaign was Nazeem Howa, a former journalist who moved on to work for the Gupta-owned Oakbay Investments. Read more.
President Jacob Zuma’s son Duduzane Zuma is a key figure in the #Zupta campaign to siphon funds out of state coffers. This is apparent as the investigative teams at amaBhungane and Scorpiomake sense of correspondence contained in the most sensational information leak South Africa has possibly ever seen. The emails, dubbed #GuptaLeaks, contain evidence that prove allegations that President Jacob Zuma has allowed an immigrant family to pull the levers of political power and raid state coffers. Zuma’s son has been working directly with the Gupta family, using the Zuma name to further Gupta interests and living the life of a rich person as the benefits flow back to him. International money-laundering and tax evasion are in the mix as are hints that President Zuma has been making moves to live elsewhere. Read more.
South Africans are sickened to the core to learn that Victoria Geoghegan, the creative mastermind behind the ‘white monopoly capital’ narrative and smear campaigns targeting President Jacob Zuma’s critics, was promoted by her firm. London-based Bell Pottinger has shrugged off criticism that its strategy to heighten racial tension and sow division in order to further corrupt Gupta interests is anything other than a case of “all in a day’s work”. The Public Relations (PR) firm went a step further by appointing Geoghegan to managing director of the agency’s financial and corporate division. Read more.
It turns out that Bell Pottinger was hired to sell South Africa to the international community for SA Tourism. Happy to take taxpayers’ money for that contract, Bell Pottinger omitted to declare that it has been actively working against South Africa’s wellbeing and reputation for another client by helping to push the state capture agenda. Read more.
If seasoned journalist Peter Bruce doesn’t win through legal channels, he is determined to use the power of the pen to fight the forces of evil directed by the Gupta family in a state capture campaign that is damaging the economy and jeopardising social stability. Read more.
The #GuptaLeaks reveal that the Zupta account has been so lucrative for Bell Pottinger that it sent an invoice for just under £350 000 (about R5,5m), for a four-day trip that included a suggested speech for Collen Maine of the ANC Youth Leagueand a statement for the MK Veterans Association.
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