Companies have the right to hire spin doctors — sorry, communication specialists — to argue their case. But what are the limits? In some ways, the situation is like a criminal accused having the right to an attorney. But there are no legally enforceable rules specific to spin … sorry, communications specialists. Often they are former journalists who provide good information, and journalists still in the profession rely on them more than they’d care to admit. But there are limits. This week, at the Zondo commission on state capture, Angelo Agrizzi, former COO of facilities management company Bosasa, revealed that several journalists and communications specialists were on the payroll. He named three: Benedicta Dube (who has passed away), Pinky Khoabane and Stephen Laufer; and two whom he only knew as "Ntuli" from the Sunday Times or The Star and "Bongs" from the Eastern Cape. It seems members of the Bosasa spin team were expected to behave a bit like Mafia enforcers, chiefly against A...

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