Guptas: Allegations against us a smear campaign

The embattled family has responded to a BBC news report on allegations that they are embroiled in state capture in South Africa.

Atul Gupta. Picture: Atul Gupta Kumar/Facebook.

CAPE TOWN – As the Guptas continue to distance themselves from the allegations against Bell Pottinger, the controversial business family says that accusations that they are behind a drive to push an agenda for white monopoly capital is a smear campaign.

The embattled family has responded to a BBC news report on allegations that they are embroiled in state capture in South Africa.

The Gupta family has been facing a slew of allegations that it used the wide-spread white monopoly capital rhetoric to deflect attention from its own alleged dodgy dealings.

According to leaked emails, the family roped in British PR agency Bell Pottinger to drive the agenda.

Speaking to the BBC, family spokesperson Gary Naidoo refuted the claims.

He told the broadcaster that the allegations are a political smear campaign against the family.

Naidoo further denied the Guptas requested Bell Pottinger to create fake twitter accounts to drive its campaign.

[WATCH] South Africa's Gupta scandal by BBC Newsnight

He is yet to respond to a request for comment from Eyewitness News.

DA ALLOWED TO ASK AN OUTSIDER PARTY

A United Kingdom regulatory body says both Bell Pottinger and the Democratic Alliance (DA) are allowed to ask an outside party to make submissions supporting their respective cases at the upcoming hearing.

The Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA) is investigating a complaint by the opposition party that Bell Pottinger stirred racial tensions in South Africa.

The allegations stem from the PR agency's work done for the Gupta-owned Oakbay Investments when its campaigns were revealed in a trove of leaked emails.

The DA and Bell Pottinger will appear before the PRCA's Professional Practices committee on 8 August.

The regulator says both of them are allowed to appoint other parties to give input in support of their respective cases.

The DA has indicated it is still considering who it will ask to submit extra evidence to back their complaint.

Earlier this week, the Helen Suzman Foundation, Section27 and Save SA already expressed their willingness to assist in any probe into Bell Pottinger's conduct.

Through a single lawyer, the organisations have requested information from the PR agency for them to compile the evidence and to make sure it is considered in a South African context.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)