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UK PR firm Bell Pottinger’s role in the construction of the Gupta family’s propaganda empire was part of a multinational fake news scheme to hide the family’s growing enrichment at the expense of South African citizens and taxpayers. The Times, with the African Network of Centres for Investigative Reporting, for the first time reveals the size and scope of a campaign which outpaces the apartheid-era Information Scandal in cost and political impact. Bell Pottinger is facing a severe backlash as a result of its role. On Monday, the Public Relations and Communication Association in the UK was due to meet to consider the company’s appeal against an adverse finding which the association has made against it. The final decision was due on Tuesday and Bell Pottinger’s future could hang on its outcome. This investigation reveals a multi-channel media empire that includes mainstream news outlets The New Age and ANN7, alternative news websites, and a vast number of contributors to social media...

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