The DA is deeply concerned that the South African government has spent R9.6 million on the PR services of Bell Pottinger, at the same time that the Guptas were using Bell Pottinger to sow racial division in South Africa.
A reply to a DA Parliamentary Question has revealed that SA Tourism, an entity under the Department of Tourism, hired Bell Pottinger, on a 3 year contract from 2014 and paid them approximately R9.6 million.
The DA will therefore write to the Tourism Portfolio Committee Chairperson, Beatrice Ngcobo, to call on the Tourism Minister, Tokozile Xasa, to justify this large amount of money spent by the Department at Bell Pottinger and to table the full contract with Bell Pottinger.
We believe that there is a disgraceful conflict of interests for Bell Pottinger to be on the South African government payroll at the same time as the Guptas were paying them to sow division in South Africa.
No ethical firm could accept business to both advance and damage a country at the same time.
The DA will demand a full justification for this spending from the Tourism Minister, and we will seek an explanation for how SA Tourism continued to pay Bell Pottinger after the Gupta scandal emerged numerous months ago.