Citizen Reporter
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3 minute read
6 Jan 2022
11:49 am

Manyi slams Zondo’s ‘rubbish’ findings, says Zuma is ‘studying’ state capture report

Citizen Reporter

The Jacob Zuma Foundation spokesperson says Zondo has no evidence to support the allegations against him.

Jacob Zuma Foundation spokesperson, Mzwanele Manyi during his cross-examination at the Zondo commission on 27 November 2018 in Johannesburg. Photo: Gallo Images / Netwerk24 / Felix Dlangamandla

Jacob Zuma Foundation spokesperson, Mzwanele Manyi, has slammed the Zondo commission’s report, describing the findings against him as “rubbish”.

The first of the three part report was made public on Tuesday evening after the commission’s chairperson, Acting Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, handed it over to President Cyril Ramaphosa.

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).

According to the report, the act of replacing former GCIS DG Themba Maseko with Manyi was one of the earliest acts of state capture by the Guptas.

ALSO READ: Manyi’s role in state capture drive exposed in Zondo report

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.

‘Rubbish’

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.

READ MORE: Mzwanele Manyi sells copies of Zuma’s book in a car boot

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.

ALSO READ: Exposing the intricate web weaved by central players in state capture

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.

Additional reporting by Earl Coetzee and Bernadette Wicks