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Ex-President Goodluck Jonathan’s PR adviser expelled in South Africa for stirring up racial tensions

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Ex-President Goodluck Jonathan’s PR adviser, Bell Pottinger, who also runs a leading public relations agency has been expelled from South Africa’s industry’s trade association after he was found guilty of stirring up racial tensions in South Africa, said to be the worst breach of ethics in its history.

For his unethical and unprofessional secret campaign, Bell Pottinger’ firm was reportedly banned for five years.

The ban came after PRCA investigated a complaint from South Africa’s main opposition party, that the PR firm sought to stir up anger about “white monopoly capital” and the “economic apartheid” in South Africa.

Bell Pottinger was being paid £100,000 a month by client Oakbay Capital, the holding company of the wealthy, powerful and controversial Gupta family, who have been accused of benefiting financially from their close links to the South African president, Jacob Zuma. Both have previously denied such a relationship.

“Bell Pottinger has brought the PR and communications industry into disrepute with its actions and has received the harshest possible sanctions,” said Francis Ingham, director general of the PRCA. .

“The PRCA has never before passed down such a damning indictment of an agency’s behaviour.” The PRCA said the Bell Pottinger campaign was “likely to inflame racial discord in South Africa”.

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