Former government spokesman and one-time owner of the now-defunct New Age and ANN7 media company, Mzwanele “Jimmy” Manyi has been appointed as the official spokesperson for former president, Jacob Zuma. Picture: Dudu Zuma-Sambudla / Twitter.
Former government spokesman and one-time owner of the now-defunct New Age and ANN7 media company, Mzwanele “Jimmy” Manyi has been appointed as the official spokesperson for former president, Jacob Zuma. Picture: Dudu Zuma-Sambudla / Twitter.

Mzwanele Manyi takes the reins as Jacob Zuma’s spokesman

By Lee Rondganger Time of article published Jun 15, 2021

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Durban - Former government spokesman and one-time owner of the now-defunct New Age and ANN7 media company, Mzwanele “Jimmy” Manyi has been appointed as the official spokesperson for former president, Jacob Zuma.

Manyi’s appointment was announced by Zuma’s daughter, Dudu Zuma-Sambudla on Twitter.

She said that Manyi, through his communications outfit would provide spokesperson services to both Zuma and his foundation and “on all matters including Arms Deal Case”.

Manyi is an outspoken backer of Zuma who is fighting to have the charges of corruption against him thrown out of court.

Zuma is accused of receiving 791 payments worth R4.1-million between 1995 and 2004 from his former financial adviser and convicted fraudster, Schabir Shaik.

Zuma has entered a plea of not guilty and has filed a motion to have lead prosecutor, Advocate Billy Downer, removed. Should this be successful, Zuma wants the entire case against him thrown out.

Manyi was appointed government spokesperson and CEO of the government communication information system in February 2011 and had a contentious relationship with journalists.

In March 2010 he made headlines when during an interview on the Afrikaans channel, Kyknet said that coloured people were too concentrated in the Western Cape.

He said that coloured people needed to understand that South Africa belong to them in totality, and not just the Western Cape.

In response to these comments, Trevor Manuel the then National Planning Minister wrote an open letter to Manyi, calling him a “worst order racist”.

in 2011, former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela found that while DG of Labour, Manyi had failed to comply with the Public Service Code of Conduct and the rules on how to manage conflicts of interests between his official duties, and his role as president of the Black management forum.

Manyi rubbished the findings.

In January 2019, Manyi became the policy chief of the pro-Jacob Zuma party, the African Transformation Movement which went on to garner 76 830 votes at the 2019 general elections - about .44% of the national vote.

At the time of his appointment, Manyi said the ANC "is tired, fatigued and has lost its moral compass".

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