DA decides not to pursue Bell Pottinger matter with CPIR‚ but still wants full disclosure

20 September 2017 - 20:07 By Timeslive
Phumzile van Damme
Phumzile van Damme

The Democratic Alliance has decided to no longer pursue the complaint it laid with the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR)‚ against Bell Pottinger partner Kevin Read.

The DA said Read worked on the campaign that exploited racial tensions in South Africa on behalf of the Gupta family and Duduzane Zuma‚ President Jacob Zuma's son.

DA spokesperson on communications Phumzile Van Damme said on Wednesday evening that the CIPR had informed the DA that Read did not respond to its complaint and had failed to disclose any relevant information.

“Therefore‚ we did not deem it necessary to continue with the complaint as he clearly would not form part of it nor disclose the brief he received from the Gupta family and Duduzane Zuma. It would have been a barren harvest‚” Van Damme said.

“The DA thanks the CIPR for the professional manner in which our complaint was handled and for making every effort to contact Mr Read. It is a pity that he did not take up the opportunity to tell his side of the story‚” she added.

Van Damme said the DA’s quest against Bell Pottinger had never been one of blind vengeance but about getting full disclosure‚ ensuring that the firm was held accountable and that the money was paid back to South Africa.

“We still intend to pursue full disclosure and have noted the media reports that former Bell Pottinger partner‚ Victoria Geoghegan‚ intend on suing the PR firm. We trust that she will use that opportunity to tell her side of the story and provide the full disclosure that the people of South Africa need‚” Van Damme said in a statement.