Fuelling racial tensions can't be tolerated - Dlodlo on Bell Pottinger

2017-07-07 17:44
Minister of Communications Ayanda Dlodlo. (File, GCIS)

Minister of Communications Ayanda Dlodlo. (File, GCIS)

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Cape Town - Communications Minister Ayanda Dlodlo says the sowing of racial divisions in South Africa's democracy cannot be tolerated, following Bell Pottinger's apology for their Gupta-sponsored campaign.

Dlodlo on Friday said she had not seen the PR firm's apology in full, but on the assumption that they had apologised for what they were accused of - sowing racial tensions - said it wasn't acceptable.

She does, though, believe that the company's step in apologising means the country should be able to move on, as South Africans have got over racial hurt before, while still maintaining a firm stance against it.

"They have made their apology," she told News24.

"As South Africans, we've always been able to move on, even when apologies have not been made.

"Even in the apartheid era, people had been maimed, killed and displaced, and never received apologies. So racism has been tolerated in South Africa for a very long time.

"We have come to a point where it can no longer be tolerated, least of all [from] a PR company that is seen as being a conduit for fuelling racial tensions in the country."


Dlodlo said South African firms and the government should not associate with companies that do not promote the ethos enshrined in the Constitution.

"The issue really here is it can never be tolerated, no matter what quarter it comes from, whether it's coming from black people or... Although it is rarer to find racist statements coming from black people," she claimed.


She also said it would be hard to believe that a company or persons - like the Guptas - who hire a PR company, would not have been aware of what the firm was doing.

"If they [the Guptas] hired Bell Pottinger, they would obviously have given them a brief. You do not hire a company just to let them loose.

"So a brief would have been given. I'm not sure what the brief was, and they could have gone overboard.

"But usually, when you give a brief to a company, you should monitor their performance, and if you are uncomfortable, you intervene."

READ: Share info on Zuma, Guptas, apology not enough - DA to Bell Pottinger

She said the terminology around white monopoly capital had been in South Africa's body politic for a very long time. This time, it had just gained more traction.

"Whether it does still exist in its current or former form, is another matter altogether."


Dlodlo has been in the news this year for reportedly flying to Dubai on a trip partially paid for by businessman Fana Hlongwane.

She stressed that the furore around the Gupta family should not be extended to every member of President Jacob Zuma's Cabinet.

She believes that her appointment as a minister during March's Cabinet reshuffle was an appointment by the president of the country, Zuma.

"I do not believe, and I will never believe, that my appointment was a result of a Dubai trip that I undertook, that was not even a trip to the Guptas.

"I really would appreciate if people would not link me, or box me into factions or groupings.

"I'm not [in] a clique, I am not a clique person and don't belong to any factions of any sort."

She stressed again that she went to Dubai of her own accord.

The only aspect that was paid for was her accommodation, which was made by Hlongwane, someone she regards as a brother.

Read more on:    bell pottinger  |  gupta brothers  |  ayanda dlodlo  |  cape town  |  gupta emails  |  gupta leaks

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