DA requests Bell Pottinger hearing be open to public

According to the PRCA's procedures, an open hearing can only be done if both parties and the committee members agree to it.

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

CAPE TOWN - The Democratic Alliance (DA) has requested the hearing into Bell Pottinger's conduct in South Africa be open to the public.

United Kingdom regulatory body Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA) has scheduled a hearing for the 18th of August following a complaint lodged by the opposition party.

The complaint is in connection with work the PR firm did for Gupta-owned company Oakbay which the DA says stirred racial tensions in South Africa.

According to the PRCA's procedures, an open hearing can only be done if both parties and the committee members agree to it.

The DA's Phumzille van Damme said: “Given the public interest in the matter, the DA implores both Bell Pottinger and the committee members to grant a request for this disciplinary inquiry to be open in the interest of transparency and accountability.”

Recently EWN reported that Bell Pottinger has been called by a UK regulatory body to appear before its committee over some of the agency's work for Oakbay.

The company was hired by the Gupta family to do its PR, but recently leaked emails suggest Bell Pottinger helped the MK Military Veterans Association and the African National Congress Youth League in their campaigns to discredit Gupta critics and those of President Jacob Zuma.

The DA wrote to the PRCA complaining Bell Pottinger allegedly stirred racial tensions through some of the campaigns it orchestrated for the Gupta-owned Oakbay.

The regulatory body decided to call a hearing over the matter.