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Civil society orgs request PR firm hands over info on dealings with Oakbay

The Helen Suzman Foundation, Section 27 together with Save SA says they want to assist with all the probes into the United Kingdom agency by adding a South African perspective.

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

CAPE TOWN - South African civil society organisations have requested Bell Pottinger hands over all the information that forms the basis of its investigation into its dealings with Oakbay.

The Helen Suzman Foundation, Section 27 together with Save SA says they want to assist with all the probes into the United Kingdom agency by adding a South African perspective.

Bell Pottinger has appointed Herbert Smith Freehills to look into the matter after allegations its campaigns for the Gupta-owned company stirred racial tensions.

The Helen Suzman Foundation's Anton van Dalsen says they would also like to make recommendations to the Public Relations and Communications Association that has scheduled a hearing on the matter.

“So that we are able to provide the legal firm that has been tasked to provide an independent audit with a proper understanding of the social, economic and political circumstances in South Africa and how that work had an impact on these aspects of the South African society.”

DA WELCOMES DECISION

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has welcomed the decision by a UK regulatory body to institute a hearing into the conduct of Bell Pottinger.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Public Relations and Communications Institute confirmed that after considering submissions it has decided to schedule a hearing on 18 August.

It emanates from a complaint lodged by the DA at the beginning of the month.

The UK agency is being accused of stirring racial tensions in the country through some of its work done for Gupta-owned Oakbay Investments.

The DA says it has been informed by the Public Relations Consultants Association (PRCA), the party and Bell Pottinger have 10 days to submit summaries stating their respective cases.

The DA's Marshalle Frederiks said: “The DA looks forward to making our representations at the hearings and we will continue to push that Bell Pottinger pay back the money to South Africa.”

(Edited by Zinhle Nkosi)