DA: Phumzile Van Damme says Resignation of Bell Pottinger CEO is not a heroic act

3rd September 2017

DA: Phumzile Van Damme says Resignation of Bell Pottinger CEO is not a heroic act

James Henderson's decision to relinquish his role as CEO of Bell Pottinger is not in any way an act of valour - he owns 40% of the public relations firm and remains a majority shareholder.

If Henderson had truly appreciated the implications of their propaganda in South Africa, he would repay the £1 200 000 (approximately R20 million) it earned from the Gupta family and President Jacob Zuma's son, Duduzane Zuma, for the benefit of South Africa as the DA requested.

Full disclosure of the nature of the contract it entered into with Zuma and the Guptas would have demonstrated goodwill and willingness to begin to repair the damage their work caused to South Africa.

In addition, Henderson is on record stating that he would publicly release the report by Herbert Smith Freehills LLP3, the law firm hired by Bell Pottinger to audit the Gupta account, by the end of August.

August has ended and no report has been released. Instead, we receive news of his resignation, a move no doubt, designed to appease. The DA is not appeased.

On Tuesday morning, following a complaint lodged by the DA, the Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA) will release its findings on Bell Pottinger's contract for the Gupta-owned Oakay capital.

We trust that a tough sanction will be handed down to send a message to the entire PR industry that the sort of behaviour engaged in by Bell Pottinger, will not be tolerated.

The DA will announce a way forward and any further action it may take against Bell Pottinger after the release of the report.


Issued by DA