Heather Kerzner, pictured in 2007. Picture: KATHERINE MUICK-MERE/SUNDAY TIMES
Heather Kerzner, pictured in 2007. Picture: KATHERINE MUICK-MERE/SUNDAY TIMES

Heather Kerzner, a former wife of Sol Kerzner, engaged to Bell Pottinger boss James Henderson, bought a 15% stake in the PR firm shortly before its South African scandal erupted, The Times of London reported.

Bell Pottinger has apologised for running a social media campaign that stoked racial tension on behalf of the Gupta family.

The PR firm was pressured into dropping the Guptas as clients after it emerged that terms such as "white monopoly capital" had derived from the UK-based consultants.

Kerzner and Henderson jointly own 37% of Bell Pottinger. Whether that will be enough to protect him from the wrath of other equity partners remains to be seen.

Three South African public advocacy groups — Section27‚ the Helen Suzman Foundation and Save SA — are taking joint action over the probe into Bell Pottinger’s conduct.

The groups noted Bell Pottinger’s recent "unequivocal and absolute apology"‚ in relation to the work it carried out over the past year for the Gupta-owned Oakbay‚ and the fact that it had commissioned an international law firm to review the work done.

They have now sent a letter to Bell Pottinger with a request for access to the terms of reference and all information that will form the basis of the investigation‚ which is to be undertaken by the law firm Herbert Smith Freehills.

This action follows the DA lodging a complaint with the UK regulatory body that the company violated the Public Relations and Communications Association’s (PRCA’s) professional charter and code of conduct.

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