LISTEN | ‘My crime is being spokesperson for the most-hated man’ — Manyi on being implicated in state capture report
Jacob Zuma Foundation spokesperson and former Government Communications Information System (GCIS) CEO Mzwanele Manyi has responded to being implicated in the state capture inquiry report, claiming the commission “got it all wrong”.
The first part of the report was handed to President Cyril Ramaphosa on Tuesday by acting chief justice and chairperson of the inquiry Raymond Zondo. It runs to more than 870 pages and deals with SAA and related companies.
The report raised concerns about former president Jacob Zuma’s hand in transferring Manyi from the department of labour to the GCIS, where it said he channelled millions from state agencies to the Gupta family’s now defunct The New Age (TNA) newspaper through unwarranted adverts and sponsorships.
TNA said the inquiry report, received millions in advertising spend from state entities including the GCIS, Transnet, Eskom and SAA.
Shortly after Manyi joined the GCIS, the entity paid TNA R6.3m, despite the newspaper having had no clear readership and circulation figures.
The next year, the GCIS spending increased to R8.2m. This would continue even after Manyi’s departure from the entity in August 2012. In the 2013/2014 financial year, TNA received R9.5m and R9.9m in the 2014/15 financial year.
In a statement shared with SowetanLIVE sister publication TimesLIVE, Manyi rubbished the report's findings and claimed he had no influence on how the GCIS spent money on advertising.
“The Zondo report got it all wrong about me, saying I enabled anything. The fact is a simple one and it is that the director-generals of all other departments and heads of communication make their own decisions about where advertising spend needs to go,” Manyi said on Wednesday.
He said the GCIS negotiated for bulk discounts but did not decide where money should be spent, including money spent on adverts in the The New Age.
“That money was spent on The New Age was because of the DGs of those departments, not me who made that decision. To say I enabled [state capture] is rubbish, absolute rubbish. No such thing,” said Manyi.
He said he is being targeted for being Zuma’s spokesperson.
“The Zondo commission did not even put an ounce of evidence to corroborate its outlandish statement about me. My real crime is that I am the spokesperson of the most-hated person, Zuma,” he said.
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