JOHANNESBURG – UK Public Relations firm Bell Pottinger has been called for a hearing over its involvement in the campaign for Gupta-owned Oakbay.
The company has been summoned by the UK regulatory body, Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA) after the DA laid a complaint against them.
The hearing is set for 18th August in London.
“As previously announced, the complaint filed by the Democratic Alliance (the South African political party) against Bell Pottinger is being considered by a Professional Practices Committee.
"This Committee has decided to hold a hearing on this case with both parties on Friday, 18th August 2017.
"Both the Democratic Alliance and Bell Pottinger are now required to provide full evidence to the Committee ahead of this hearing.
"We want to thank both sides again for their cooperation so far,” said PRCA's director general, Francis Ingham on the association's website.
The DA said it welcomed the PRCA’s decision to institute a disciplinary hearing into the conduct of the Guptas’ PR firm.
Bell Pottinger had been accused of helping to orchestrate social media attacks on well-known journalists who did exposs on the Guptas, and of fomenting racial divisions by promoting the term "white monopoly capital", in attempts to divert attention away from the family.
“Both the DA and Bell Pottinger are now required to submit summaries of our cases and copies of all documents, to be considered as evidence, within 10 working days,” the party said in a statement.
The DA said it would continue to push Bell Pottinger for full disclosure of their Gupta account and also ask that the money from the account be paid back to South Africa
“The DA looks forward to making our representations at the hearing so that we can ensure Bell Pottinger is held accountable for their actions,” the party added.