Note to Editors: Please see the updated version of the statement below.
The DA has decided to no longer pursue the complaint we had laid with the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR), against Kevin Read, a Bell Pottinger partner who worked on the campaign that exploited the racial tensions in South Africa on behalf of the Gupta family and Duduzane Zuma, President Jacob Zuma’s son.
The CIPR informed the DA that Mr Read did not respond to our complaint and 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.
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.
The DA’s quest against Bell Pottinger has never been one of blind vengeance but about getting full disclosure, ensuring that the firm is held accountable and that the money is 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.