The Helen Suzman Foundation, Section27 and Save SA have jointly approached British public relations (PR) agency Bell Pottinger with a request for access to the terms of reference and all information that will form part of an investigation into the firms work with Gupta-owned Oakbay.
International law firm Herbert Smith Freehills LLP have undertaken to review the work Bell Pottinger did for Oakbay.
“This request flows from the intention of the Helen Suzman Foundation, Section27 and Save South Africa, to make recommendations to the relevant UK regulatory bodies, in order to assist these bodies in coming to a proper understanding of the social, economic and potential legal implications of Bell Pottinger’s conduct,” the three said in a joint statement.
“These three South African public interest organisations are concerned that the impact of Bell Pottinger’s conduct should be viewed in the correct context by Bell Pottinger’s own senior management, by the UK regulatory bodies and by the public at large. In arriving at any conclusions about Bell Pottinger’s conduct, it is plainly necessary to have an appropriately informed understanding of South Africa’s constitutional project, the legal framework, its history regarding race and sectarian politics, and the challenges which the country faces.”
The organisations said they were hopeful that Bell Pottinger will respond positively to their approach.