Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

‘We are not for sale’ – MK vets deny Bell Pottinger links

The Umkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) has rubbished allegations that British PR company Bell Pottinger assisted it with media statements.

MKMVA president Kebby Maphatsoe in a statement said the organisation had never met with Bell Pottinger to receive any coaching on how to analyse or understand the South African political reality.

“We do not need to be told anything about our own experiences by a foreign PR company. Allegations of this nature are deeply insulting, they are patronising and downright racist,” said Maphatsoe.

The organisation said this after allegations surfaced in an amaBhungane #GuptaLeaks report.

It said there was email correspondence that showed that groups such as the MKMVA and the ANC Youth League appeared to have had PR assistance from Bell Pottinger in their campaigns to discredit the Gupta family and President Jacob Zuma’s critics.

Bell Pottinger’s chief executive James Henderson last week apologised for the work the company did for the Gupta family and Oakbay Investments. The company allegedly stoked racial hatred in South Africa in the work they did for the Gupta family and Duduzane Zuma, one of Zuma’s sons.

Maphatsoe said the allegations were a malicious attempt to undermine the MKMVA.

“We do not need any foreigners to tell us what to think and what to do! Our business relationships with companies associated with the Gupta family is known, and above board.

“We have always maintained that these are of a purely commercial nature and that we have nothing to hide.”

He said the MKMVA was not an extension of the Gupta family.

“We are an independent organisation in our own right, with proud freedom fighters as our members who have dedicated their lives to the liberation of our beloved country…

“We are not for sale, nor to be ‘captured’ by anyone. Baseless allegations to that effect are downright racist, and an unforgivable insult to the huge struggle contribution that we have made.”

Maphatsoe said: “We have noted with utter dismay the false propaganda narrative that Bell Pottinger developed, the socio-political concepts of white monopoly capital and radical socioeconomic transformation. This is a blatant lie.”

He said the South African economy was dominated by white monopoly capital, which allegedly exploited black people.

Maphatsoe said the definition of ‘white monopoly capital’ had been used for decades in the ANC and the SACP.

“It is shameful that some comrades such as Joel Netshitenze, Paul Mashatile, David Makhura, Blade Nzimande and Trevor Manuel, to name a few, abuse this false narrative for their own factional purposes.

“Their behaviour is disingenuous and expedient in the extreme. They should be ashamed of themselves and deserve to be [censured] in the strongest possible manner.”

Maphatsoe said South Africa did not need foreign interference.

“We do not need PR mercenaries who serve whoever the highest paymaster is (at one point they even worked for an arch-reactionary like Margaret Thatcher!), and who evidently have no ideological or moral compass.”

The organisation advised Bell Pottinger to remain in London, where it said it belonged. – News24

Subscribe for R500/year

Thanks for enjoying the Mail & Guardian, we’re proud of our 36 year history, throughout which we have delivered to readers the most important, unbiased stories in South Africa. Good journalism costs, though, and right from our very first edition we’ve relied on reader subscriptions to protect our independence.

Digital subscribers get access to all of our award-winning journalism, including premium features, as well as exclusive events, newsletters, webinars and the cryptic crossword. Click here to find out how to join them and get a 57% discount in your first year.

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

If you’re reading this, you clearly have great taste

If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to the Mail & Guardian for less than the cost of a cup of coffee a week, and get more great reads.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Subscribers only

Fears of violence persist a year after the murder of...

The court battle to stop coal mining in rural KwaZulu-Natal has heightened the sense of danger among environmental activists

Data shows EFF has lower negative sentiment online among voters...

The EFF has a stronger online presence than the ANC and Democratic Alliance

More top stories

Kenya’s beach boys fall into sex tourism, trafficking

In the face of their families’ poverty, young men, persuaded by the prospect of wealth or education, travel to Europe with their older female sponsors only to be trafficked for sex

High court reinstates Umgeni Water board

The high court has ruled that the dissolution of the water entity’s board by Minister Lindiwe Sisulu was unfair and unprocedural

Mkhize throws the book at the Special Investigating Unit

It’s a long shot at political redemption for the former health minister and, more pressingly, a bid to avert criminal charges
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×