8 June 2012

South Africa: Manyi 'Sacking' Overdue - DA

Government spokesman Jimmy Manyi should have been dismissed long ago, the DA said on Friday.

Responding to media reports that Manyi's contract would not be renewed when it expires in August, spokesman Mmusi Maimane said: "It's about time".

Earlier, both Manyi and Harold Maloka -- spokesman for Minister of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation in the Presidency, Collins Chabane -- dismissed the report as unfounded.

Maimane said in a statement that Manyi "consistently showcased behaviour unbecoming of government's chief communicator" and advanced five reasons why he believed this to be the case.

In June 2010 he was suspended as director general of the labour department after he allegedly tried to promote his private interests in an official meeting.

Another reason was Manyi's "racism" after comments claiming an "over-supply" of coloured people in the Western Cape and that Indians were over-represented in management positions.

Maimane also felt Manyi undermined media freedom.

"Last year, Mr Manyi made headlines for suggesting that the government could withdraw advertising revenue from newspapers that do not toe the government line."

He also said that Manyi was "willing to use shady tactics to dodge accountability" and had poor relationships with the media.

Earlier, Manyi denied a report that he received a letter indicating that his contract would not be renewed.

"There is no such thing; it is a complete fabrication," Manyi said.

Maloka echoed these sentiments.

"The minister did not have a discussion with Manyi regarding his contract and there was no such letter."

The Mail & Guardian reported that Manyi had received a letter from Chabane to inform him that his contract would not be renewed when it expired in August.

An unnamed government official was reported as saying: "Effectively [Manyi] has been sacked from government, in particular for repeatedly making embarrassing remarks".

Another official reportedly claimed that Manyi's comments on the Gauteng e-tolls were "thoughtless".

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