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Manyi both labour policeman and policed

Department of labour director general Jimmy Manyi was re-elected president of the Black Management Forum yesterday, sparking concerns that the organisation could lose its “independent” voice. The BMF is not a formal industry body and describes itself as a “non-racial, thought leadership organisation”. But Manyi’s job as labour director general will inevitably entail the enforcement of South Africa’s much-criticised labour laws over managers, some of whom will be represented in the private-sector organisation he now continues to head. Typically, Manyi himself didn’t see the problem. “I continue to hold both these positions unashamedly. There is definitely no conflict of interest in both these positions,” he said. Manyi’s election followed the decision of his opponent Bonang Mohale to withdraw as a candidate at the last minute.

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