THE Gupta family has brought in heavy firepower in an apparent effort to burnish its image.The controversial business family has enlisted the services of a London-based lobbying and public relations firm, whose executives once claimed they were capable of drowning out negative coverage and influencing public opinion through unorthodox means.Bell Pottinger — formed by British public relations guru Timothy Bell — this week confirmed it had the Guptas’ Oakbay Investments as a client.The Gupta family has become synonymous with the concept of "state capture", as politicians and commentators point to their businesses and relationships with President Jacob Zuma and his son Duduzane Zuma as conduits for improper influence over the government.Mr Bell is regarded as one of the main figures behind the Conservative Party’s general election successes.He coined Margaret Thatcher’s landmark Labour Isn’t Working campaign, and advised the future prime minister on interview techniques, appearance, cl...

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