Jacob Zuma Foundation spokesperson, Mzwanele Manyi, has slammed the Zondo commission’s report, describing the findings against him as “rubbish”.
The 874-page report fingered Manyi as one of the “enablers” of state capture during his tenure as director-general (DG) of the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS).
Manyi allegedly splashed millions of rands in advertising to the now-defunct Gupta-owned newspaper, The New Age (TNA).
TNA was a media house established by the Gupta family in June 2010.
In 2011, the GCIS paid TNA R6.3 million despite the newspaper having no clear evidence of readership and circulation figures, the report stated.
The department’s spending on the newspaper then increased to nearly R10 million after Manyi’s departure in August 2012.
Reacting to the report, Manyi, who is the African Transformation Movement’s (ATM’s) chief of policy and strategy, denied the allegations levelled against him, saying the commission has not put “even an ounce of evidence to corroborate” its findings against him.
“Zondo report says GCIS under my leadership enabled state capture, but does not corroborate the wild and irresponsible assertions with even an ounce of evidence. Decisions made by DGs of other departments are suddenly GCIS responsibility, what nonsense!” he said on Twitter.
Manyi explained that he was not involved when various heads of communication from different departments, who all reported to the GCIS, made final decisions about their advertising spend of their department.
“But [the] Zondo report says I enabled [state capture]. [The] Zondo report is talking rubbish,” he added.
The former GCIS chief went on to say: “The Zondo report is very malicious [against] me. I get called names like enabler, but zero evidence to justify such a slur.”
Zuma studying report
Meanwhile, Manyi told BusinessTech on Wednesday that former president Jacob Zuma needs time to study the commission’s findings before commenting on the report.
Zuma has been implicated in several parts of the report, including that Maseko’s removal from the GCIS was on the former president’s instruction after he refused to “assist” the Guptas.
The report also deals with the former president’s role in aiding in the capture of the South African Revenue Service (Sars), through his appointment of former Sars commissioner Tom Moyane, and dismantling of several elements critical to the efficient functioning of the organisation.
The report found that Zuma’s reluctance to appear before the commission was due to knowing he would not have satisfactory answers to questions around his alleged involvement in the Sars matters as well as matters related to South African Airways (SAA) and Dudu Myeni.