Partners in Bell Pottinger, the British public relations firm best known in SA for its close relationship with the Gupta family, have repaid or promise to repay some R9m in profits its liquidators say they were not entitled to receive.

But James Henderson, at the time of its liquidation the CEO, is reportedly fighting an attempt to hold him personally liable for around R7.5m in such profits.

Bell Pottinger first denied it had been behind attacks on Gupta foes and campaigns around 'white monopoly capital', then apologised for the role it had played in those efforts, notes a Business Insider report.

But a finding by the UK's Public Relations and Communications Association that its work had been 'likely to inflame racial discord in SA and appears to have done exactly that' saw clients abandon the company in droves.

Soon after it was put into liquidation when its administrators could find no willing buyer.

Those administrators, from accounting firm BDO, have been pursuing the recovery of money ever since to help cover the £7m (R130m) owed to creditors.

The latest report from the administrators show that 12 former partners have repaid £157 000 (around R3m) of that, the Financial Times reported this week. Nine more partners have agreed to give back £311 000 (nearly R6m) – but two partners have been unreachable, and 17 have not agreed to repay money.

Although the partners involved are not identified in the report, The Daily Telegraph said Henderson is 'wrangling' over his share, worth R7.5m.

Full Business Insider report