UPDATE: DA wants Bell Pottinger to 'pay back the money'

Bell Pottinger.

• Editor's note: This article is updated each time new information becomes available.

LONDON - The DA is calling on Bell Pottinger to pay back the money.

The party says its complaint against the London-based PR firm has been upheld by the UK's Public Relations and Communications Association.

The DA accused Bell Pottinger of stirring up racial tensions while working for the controversial Gupta family. 

DA spokesperson Phumzile van Damme said the party wants Bell Pottinger to pay back the money that they earned from the Gupta account.

 

The UK watchdog was investigating a complaint by the DA against Bell Pottinger.

The disciplinary committee of the Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA) is probing whether the firm ran a campaign to stir up racial tensions in South Africa, as part of its work for Gupta-owned Oakbay Capital.

The report was published by the online PR publication, PRWeek. 

READ: Evidence to be scrutinised in Bell Pottinger probe

The closed hearing into Bell Pottinger's conduct began on August 18. The PRCA's decision will be published on 4 September. The firm will be allowed to appeal. 

PRCA director general Francis Ingham told PRWeek today: "Our final decision on this case will be made once it has been through the full and balanced process set out in our Professional Charter and Codes of Conduct, including any appeals. We can’t comment further while the process is ongoing."

Bell Pottinger is accused of running a social media campaign to divert attention away from allegations of state capture, by stirring up anger over white monopoly capital and radical economic transformation.

The company denied these allegations but did issue an unequivocal apology for "anyone impacted" by the work it did for Oakbay. The apology was largely rejected by South Africans.

Earlier this month, Atul Gupta told the BBC his family never asked Bell Pottinger to spread the ideology of "white monopoly capital."

* eNCA correspondent Natalie Powell has more on this story. Watch the video below.

 

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