Bell Pottinger, the now disgraced PR firm which has seen clients leave in droves since it was expelled from its controlling body in England, is up for sale, according to BBC news.
It reported the company had appointed an accounting firm to sell the company with 250 employees, following the departure of its head James Henderson. Companies such as HSBC bank, Investec, Richemont, Clydesdale Bank, construction company Carillion, and UK broadband operator TalkTalk have all severed links with Bell Pottinger.
Locally, editor-in-chief and CEO of CAJ News Africa Savious-Parker Kwinika has also responded to queries about its attempts to involve itself in the spin around the controversial Gupta family.
“It has come to my attention that one of my reporters wrote to the Guptas offering them positive publicity for a fee,” Kwinika wrote.
“I was alerted to this by The Citizen newspaper, which submitted the outgoing message from my company e-mail. We have since launched an investigation to establish any other transgressions of this nature because as a pan-African news agency we have a zero tolerance on media ethics.
“We have never concocted any story to spruce up the image of the Guptas. And we do not intend to do this in future,” Kwinika said.
“That e-mail was sent without my approval. The tone of writing in that e-mail is inconsistent with the mission statement of CAJ News, an award-winning pan-African news agency that prides itself in fair treatment of news and adherence to media ethics.”
He stated action had been taken against the reporter involved and CAJ News was committed to fair, open and a transparent way of doing business.
“Our brand clearly stands out from Cape to Cairo, America, Asia, Europe and Middle East where our stories are extensively used.”
CAJ News executive editor Tintswalo Baloyi appears in the #GuptaLeaks. On March 16, 2016, under the subject “Media volunteer to defend Gupta family negativity”, Baloyi offered to share the story of the Guptas’ “good works” with the world.
“Our media campaigns will help portray the good works and positives that your companies and Gupta family have achieved in South Africa and beyond,” said Baloyi.
Baloyi ended with: “The campaigns will, of course, attract a fee.” The e-mail was sent to Bell Pottinger. – firstname.lastname@example.org