September 3, 2017 / 7:35 PM / a year ago

British PR firm's CEO resigns ahead of South Africa report - FT

(Reuters) - British public relations firm Bell Pottinger’s chief executive James Henderson has resigned ahead of the release of an independent report on the work done by the firm in South Africa, the Financial Times reported.

The firm had come under fire after South Africa’s opposition party said that a media campaign by the firm had stoked racial tension in the country.

South Africa’s main opposition party, the Democratic Alliance DA, complained to Britain’s Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA) about a campaign organised by the PR firm which condemned opponents of President Jacob Zuma as agents of “white monopoly capital”.

Bell Pottinger has accepted that elements of its campaign had been “inappropriate and insensitive”.

“James Henderson’s decision to relinquish his role as CEO of Bell Pottinger is not in any way an act of valour - he owns 40 percent of the public relations firm and remains a majority shareholder”, Phumzile Van Damme, DA Shadow Minister of Communications said.

Bell Pottinger was not immediately available to comment on the reports of Henderson’s departure.

Reporting by Parikshit Mishra in Bengaluru; editing by Ralph Boulton

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