Civil groups call for Bell Pottinger to be severely punished

South Africa First Forum's Rod Solomons says the company should be held liable for their actions.

A screengrab of British public relations firm Bell Pottinger's Twitter page.

JOHANNESBURG - The South Africa First Forum, a civil society group promoting respect for the Constitution, says PR company, Bell Pottinger, should be barred from doing business in the country.

The British firm has come under fire for coordinating a narrative about "economic apartheid" to promote the interests of Gupta family businesses and the president's son Duduzane Zuma.

Bell Pottinger has since apologised for running the campaign, which critics claim has contributed towards creating racial division in the country.

South Africa First's Rod Solomons says the company should be held liable for their actions.

“They need to be held accountable for the damage that they have done to the South African people and the democratic process in South Africa.”

Advocacy group Save South Africa is also not satisfied with the apology and has called for a full disclosure of the company's dealings with the Guptas.

(Edited by Refilwe Pitjeng)