Bell Pottinger CEO quits amid Gupta scandal

Trevor Jackson
September 7, 2017

Instead, it wrote off the holding and handed it back.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has alleged that Bell Pottinger stoked racial hatred in South Africa in the work they did for the Gupta family and Duduzane Zuma, President Jacob Zuma's son.

British clients were similarly rushing to dump the firm yesterday, with HSBC, St James's Place, the wealth manager, DS Smith, the packaging group, and Carillion, the construction group, all in the process of severing ties.

Global law firm Herbert Smith Freehills published its findings on Monday, 4 September and concluded that Bell Pottinger's South African campaign was "potentially racially divisive" and breached ethical principles.

John Sunnucks, who was chairman of the group's financial PR arm, has quit Bell Pottinger and is considering launching his own business with other members of his former team, according to people familiar with the matter. These slogans gained traction in a country where the white minority still wields disproportionate economic power, two decades after the end of apartheid.

PRCA director-general Francis Ingham confirmed that Bell Pottinger executives could seek individual membership, "but we have the absolute right to refuse membership at our discretion and without giving reasons".

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It said the South Africa campaign was not representative "of the way it works in general" and it would continue to abide by the PRCA's code of ethics.

"We have used Bell Pottinger for specific projects in the past but will not be doing so in the future", the bank said in a statement.

Bell Pottinger was being paid £100,000 a month by Oakbay.

Lord Tim Bell, the firm's co-founder, admitted the company would "almost certainly" fail to recover from the Gupta-linked scandal during an interview on BBC Newsnight on Monday evening. "I think it's very sad that something that I ran for years and years has been destroyed in less than a year", he told Reuters by telephone.

What makes this outcome more rewarding is that this woeful outcome for Bell Pottinger has been wrought without the need for society to introduce expensive litigation action for the transgressor to suffer the consequences of its unwarranted conduct.

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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