Bell Pottinger apology ‘not good enough’

UK public relations firm Bell Pottinger’s apology for an offensive social media campaign in South Africa is insufficient and totally unacceptable‚ Save South Africa says.

The company confirmed on Thursday that it had dismissed the lead partner involved and suspended another partner and two employees over accusations that it supported and aided campaigns to stir up racial division in South Africa through its work for Gupta- owned Oakbay Capital.

“There has been a social media campaign that highlights the issue of economic emancipation in a way that we‚ having now seen it‚ consider to be inappropriate and offensive‚” Bell Pottinger chief executive James Henderson said on Thursday.

“We wish to issue a full‚ unequivocal and absolute apology to anyone impacted.” He said executives had been misled about the campaign. South Africans have widely condemned the apology.

“Bell Pottinger – acting in partnership with its client – sowed racial mistrust‚ hate and race-baiting‚ and divided society. Through its work‚ this British company has further polarised South African society and left deep scars in our social fabric‚”

Save South Africa said a statement. “It cannot hide behind spin and say it was ‘misled’ . . . We demand to know who it worked with in South Africa‚ what its brief was . . . and‚most importantly‚ who it was ‘misled’ by. ”