South Africa

PARLIAMENT & POLITICS

Mzwanele Manyi sworn in as EFF MP a month after joining the Red Berets

Mzwanele Manyi sworn in as EFF MP a month after joining the Red Berets
Mzwanele Manyi is sworn in as a Member of Parliamentj on 7 June 2023. (Photo: Zwelethemba Kostile /GCIS)

Mzwanele Manyi has received a rapid promotion through the ranks of the EFF, being sworn in as a Member of Parliament a month after once again changing political T-shirts.

Former government communications boss Mzwanele Manyi became an EFF Member of Parliament (MP) on Wednesday, just one month after joining the party. 

Manyi ditched the African Transformation Movement (ATM) last month, a party he joined in 2019 on the eve of the general elections. He left the ANC to join the ATM, which then placed Manyi at number 14 on its candidates’ list for the elections. 

In his resignation letter to the ATM, he said the EFF, being the third largest party in South Africa, is well poised to take over from the ANC quicker than any other party.

In a statement, the EFF said Manyi previously held positions such as CEO of the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) and director-general of the Department of Labour. It said Manyi’s diverse career spanned roles in sectors such as mining, ICT, banking and auto. It included stints with corporations like Anglo American, IBM and Barclays Bank. 

“As a senior public official, he applied his comprehensive knowledge of Treasury regulations, strategic financial management, the Public Finance Management Act, labour laws and B-BBEE policies. His leadership further extended to various boards such as Fosad, People’s Bank, Computershare and Alexor Diamond Mine,” said the EFF.

Daily Maverick has established that Manyi replaced Dumisani Mthenjane, who became an MP in May 2019. Manyi will continue being the mouthpiece of the Jacob Zuma Foundation. 

The list of new EFF MPs includes singer and Trompies member, Eugene Mthethwa, and former EFF student command president, Mandla Shikwambana. Mthethwa has been performing at EFF events around the country and is outspoken on challenges faced by musicians. 

During the State Capture era, Manyi was known as a Gupta ally as he was often seen at their home. He also bought their ANN7 media assets in a mysterious vendor financing deal. He styles himself as a passionate spokesperson for empowerment.

According to the Zondo Commission report, former president Jacob Zuma’s decision to remove Themba Maseko as head of GCIS and replace him with Manyi was one of the earliest acts of State Capture. He was removed after he refused to cooperate with the Guptas and give in to their demands.

Read more in Daily Maverick: State Capture Report in crunch quotes: From ‘Negligence, incompetence, corrupt intent’ to creating ‘a culture of fear’

Manyi was accused of supporting State Capture by diverting GCIS’s advertising budget to the Gupta family’s The New Age newspaper.

“GCIS was an enabler of State Capture during Mr Manyi’s tenure,” said Chief Justice Raymond Zondo in his report.

Dr Trust Matsilele, a senior lecturer in the media department at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, said the EFF doesn’t seem to take seriously or be moved by the findings of the Zondo Commission. 

Mandla Shikwambana, Mzwanele Manyi, Nqobile Matilda Mhlongo Eugene Mthethwa, and Veronica Ntlaningwini pose after being sworn in as members of Parliament. Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula (centre) is with the EFF members,  07 June 2023. Photo: Zwelethemba Kostile/GCIS

“I’m sure they would rather have Manyi in their fold to spite Zondo if they have to. The question for me isn’t so much about allegations of corruption that Manyi faces that will potentially scupper his endurance within the EFF, it is rather his ability to toe the party line.”

Read more in Daily Maverick: Julius Malema berates Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, demands disciplinary action

Matsilele said Manyi has been an independent voice, perhaps in the mould of former EFF member and Black First Land First leader, Andile Mngxitama.

“Such characters are difficult to manage and find it hard to lose their independence, which explains why Andile was ultimately kicked out.” 

Matsilele added that it is also not apparent at this stage what unique value Manyi brings to the EFF, as they already have eloquent debaters and politically astute individuals such as party leader Julius Malema.

“Floyd Shivambu is an intellectual, and so is Dr Mbuyiseni Ndlozi. So, to me, this is giving a political life to Manyi, more than anything. I don’t think anyone can advance an argument that Manyi has a constituency he can bring to the EFF.” 

The EFF will celebrate its 10th anniversary next month at FNB Stadium. DM

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Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • jcdville stormers says:

    Looking for a pay check, typical politician

  • Trevor Pope says:

    Try saying “Honourable Manyi” with a straight face…

  • Geoff Woodruff says:

    A career politician seizing an opportunity to get into a position of relevance in government. Most probably, not because he actually believes in the EFF but he’s just using the party as a flag of convenience. The overalls would look better in orange I think.

  • Rory Macnamara says:

    never mind “unique value” this joker may bring, he has no value at all. this might be his last job as he has done practically everything else and not very well either.

  • Peter Worman says:

    Waiting for Karl Neihuis to join

  • Helen Harper says:

    EFF and Zuma’s RET groupings – same same.

  • John Buchan says:

    Just another locust but now dressed in a fashionable garment.

  • Alley Cat says:

    Birds of a feather. They deserve each other!

  • Grumpy Old Man says:

    ‘Floyd Shivambu is an intellectual?’ Whereas the rank & file of the EFF hold Floyd in high regard & Mbuyiseni is undoubtedly a smart fellow – if Julius packs it in tomorrow to pursue a career ‘on the decks’ the EFF would fall apart quicker than you can say VBS!
    Manyi, Mthethwa, Ringo – it’s part of the EFF Show & it’s meant to convey that when everyone & everything else is falling apart the EFF is marching forward (& remember that whilst the aforementioned persons may not impress DM readers / DM readers are not the EFF’s target market) The EFF has positioned itself very well as a home for the disaffected, the disenfranchised & the disillusioned. Manyi has symbolic value to Julius – but I seriously doubt he takes the Guy seriously & will henceforth seek counsel from him

  • Graham Smith says:

    He needs a fixed salary, and zupta’s well is fast running dry.🤣🤣😂😂

  • Alan Salmon says:

    “Floyd Shivambu is an intellectual”. I nearly fell over laughing !

  • Peter Oosthuizen says:

    Jimmy! Jimmy! Jimmy!
    Desperate times call for desperate measures LOL

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