Mzwanele Manyi’s move to EFF a relief for ATM

Despite Manyi and the ATM saying there was no fight which might have led to Manyi leaving the party, it seems too good to be true.

The decision by Mzwanele Manyi to ditch the African Transformation Movement (ATM) and join the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) will perhaps be a sigh of relief for the ATM in the lead-up to next year’s general election.

The ATM will be celebrating its fifth anniversary in Gqeberha, at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, by launching its 2024 national general election campaign. This will prove to be an important launch as they are now rid of the narrative that they are a Gupta-linked party.

Manyi joined the ATM in 2018 after leaving the ANC following allegations that he was a state capture enabler while at the Government Communication and Information System.

ALSO READ: Will Manyi and EFF’s relationship last?

The move by Manyi fuelled the allegations that the ATM was formed by senior ANC members who included former secretary-general Ace Magashule and former president Jacob Zuma to try and undermine President Cyril Ramaphosa’s rule.

The allegation that the party was a Gupta-funded did not help leader Vuyo Zungula’s case as the party and Zungula became known to be a thorn in Ramaphosa’s presidency.

The party championed the fight against the president’s Phala Phala saga, going as far as seeking to force National Assembly Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula to establish a Section 89 committee to probe the scandal.

The motion was, however, defeated by the ANC majority in parliament in December.

Five months later, Manyi decided to jump ship and join the EFF, which have also been calling for Ramaphosa’s head. This to many seems as if the ATM has run its course for Manyi, as there is now no need to be in the party as it failed to remove Ramaphosa.

ALSO READ: No problem for ATM after Manyi joins EFF

After leaving the ATM, Manyi said the EFF is the right “home for him”. “I must hasten to say that this is not a pronouncement on the ATM. The ATM continues to be a good solid organisation and is poised for growth,” he said.

“The top leadership of the EFF are reasonable people, some of whom I’ve worked with over the years, long before the EFF was even conceived. So I know that we shall find common ground and move on in a united manner. I join the EFF as a rank-and-file member and will make my contribution in that capacity.”

It remains interesting to see how long he will last in his new political home as he continues to jump from one party to another.

It will also be interesting to see how the ATM will do going forward with the election campaign after Manyi’s departure and maybe they might rid themselves of the narrative that they are a Gutpa party.

Despite Manyi and the ATM saying there was no fight which might have led to Manyi leaving the party, it seems too good to be true. During my interview with Zungula, just over a week ago, he said the party was not anxious that Manyi’s resignation would spell a loss of support at the polls.

ALSO READ: Zuma Foundation spokesperson Mzwanele Manyi joins EFF

“There is nothing we are going to lose with Mr Manyi leaving. Having the narrative that we are a Gupta-funded party did not help us. Naturally, because Mr Manyi was close to the Guptas they would make such inferences…” Zungula said.

“This is another way in which people should see that there was never a Mr Manyi behind the formation of the ATM, bankrolling the ATM. Rather, we had a Mr Manyi who joined a party that existed before him and it will continue to grow even if he has left.”

This seems to me as a thanks for going to Manyi, but it remains to be seen how the party will fare and what will be their strategy.

The 2024 elections might even be more difficult for the party as the only known character in the party is its president.

ALSO READ: ‘EFF a home of rehabilitation’: Malema hopes Zuma will join red berets

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