Mzwanele Manyi appointed as Jacob Zuma’s spokesperson: four questions answered

Mzwanele Manyi has been appointed official spokesperson for former president Jacob Zuma.
Mzwanele Manyi has been appointed official spokesperson for former president Jacob Zuma.
Image: Dudu Zuma/Twitter

African Transformation Movement (ATM) member and former government spokesperson Mzwanele Manyi has been appointed as official spokesperson for former president Jacob Zuma and the Jacob G Zuma Foundation

Manyi’s appointment was announced by Zuma’s daughter, Duduzile Zuma-Sambudla, on social media this week.

“It is my singular honour and privilege to be of service to the foundation and its patron, Mr Zuma,” Manyi said when reacting to the news. 

What will he do?

According to Zuma-Sambudla, Manyi, through his communications outfit, will provide spokesperson services for the foundation and Zuma “on all matters,  including the arms deal case”.

Will he be paid?

Speaking on CapeTalk on Thursday, Manyi responded to the question of whether he was being paid for the job, saying it was “a private matter, not a matter for public consumption”. 

“One thing for sure, I am not getting money from the government. Whatever arrangements I have with [former] president Zuma is a private matter,” said Manyi. 

What can the country expect?

He said his job is to make sure Zuma’s “side of the story” is told and reveal “shocking stuff”, adding once these are unearthed SA will have a “different approach in terms of how they view" Zuma. 

“I am here just to make sure [former] president Zuma’s side of the story is aired, put on the table and well-known because everybody is talking about him and his side of the story is never told,” said Manyi.

What will he do about fake accounts?

“Give me a week. The machinery will be well-oiled,” Manyi told social media users.

The former president appeared at the Pietermaritzburg high court last month on charges of racketeering, two counts of corruption and 12 counts of fraud, nine of which are for allegedly submitting false income tax returns. He is charged along with French arms manufacturer Thales.

He pleaded not guilty and his trial has been postponed to July 19.

TimesLIVE reported earlier this month that Zuma has lodged a special appeal to have Billy Downer removed as a prosecutor in his corruption trial. 

Zuma’s appeal is based on section 106(1)(h) of the Criminal Procedure Act (CPA), which states when an accused pleads to a charge, he may plead that the prosecutor has no title to prosecute.

However, Downer said the appeal should be dismissed, citing it was not based on his lack of title to prosecute as envisaged in section 106(1)(h).

“For this reason alone, I submit, the special plea should be dismissed and the first accused is not entitled to demand an acquittal,” said Downer.


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