UK-based public relations firm Bell Pottinger announced on Wednesday that it was cutting ties with Gupta-owned Oakbay, saying its ability to be an effective advocate for the company had been compromised. The company was hired by the Gupta family in 2016 at the height of the debate on state capture, when former deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas announced that members of the family had offered him the post of finance minister. The company said the decision was mutually agreed on with Oakbay. This was confirmed by Gupta family lawyer Gert van der Merwe. The decision was taken after the release of a report by the South African Communist Party entitled Bell Pottinger — PR support for the Gupta family. The report contained details of the work allegedly done by the company on behalf of the family that it said included a “deflection campaign” using social media. It claimed that President Jacob Zuma asked the company to help his son Duduzane Zuma with his reputation. “Using a series of u...

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