Bell Pottinger boss Henderson resigns

Bell Pottinger Chief executive, James Henderson has resigned weeks after the firm was found guilty of breaching the industry code of conduct.

South Africa’s main opposition party criticised a media campaign by the PR firm for the wealthy Gupta family.

Mr Henderson told the BBC: “Whilst I had no involvement in the account, there were warning signs that I should have heeded. Therefore I must take responsibility.”

South Africa’s Democratic Alliance (DA) party accused Bell Pottinger of a “hateful” campaign aimed to further divide South Africa along racial lines.

It said the PR firm emphasised the power of white-owned businesses in the campaign, which used the #WhiteMonopolyCapital hashtag.

Two weeks ago, the UK’s PR industry trade body, the Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA), upheld the complaint from the Democratic Alliance.

The DA’s national spokesperson Phumzile van Damme said: “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.”

In July, Mr Henderson apologised.

 

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