ANC refuses to back Manuel

2011-03-02 21:16

Cape Town - The ANC withheld any support for Trevor Manuel's scathing attack on Jimmy Manyi on Wednesday as Cosatu sided with him and pressure piled on the government spokesperson over his controversial race remarks.

In the ruling party's only comment on Manuel's outburst against Manyi, secretary general Gwede Mantashe hinted that the ANC heavyweight and planning minister in the presidency had acted without the party's backing.

"He does not want our view. If he wanted our view he would have written a letter to us. He went into the open. We won't join the match, we won't get into that mud with him," Mantashe said.

Manuel branded Manyi a "worst-order racist" in an open letter to the Cape Times and added: "I have a sense that your racism has infiltrated the highest echelons of government."

Don't know what he smoked

Cosatu secretary general Zwelinzima Vavi said he agreed that Manyi's statement about an "over-concentration" of coloured people in the Western Cape was racist and further comments along this line would call into question his fitness for high office.

"I agree with Manuel. He is right. That remark of Jimmy's was a most unfortunate statement ever to be made in a democracry," Vavi said.

"It is a bizarre statement. I dont know what he had smoked to make that statement... It is absolutely racist, in fact you can't put it in any other words.

"We'll be checking very carefully as to whether he will be making other such statements because it then calls into (question his) fitness.... whether he is fit for the position that he has just been promoted to if he harbours such views."

Manuel deserves support

Manuel's former Mbeki-era Cabinet colleague Kader Asmal urged government to make a moral choice between the views of Manuel and those of Manyi.

"Minister Manuel deserves the support and praise of all right-thinking South Africans," Asmal said in a statement.

"The choice facing us is very clear: do we stand behind the humane and generous values of Minister Manuel, or do we, by staying silent, lend our support to the mischievous and dangerous notions of Mr Manyi."

The Democratic Alliance urged President Jacob Zuma to fire Manyi, after releasing a recording of remarks he made about Indian South Africans last year while still director general of labour.

"Indians, we should be having only 3% [of positions on management]. They are sitting at 5.9%. I call it the power of bargaining. Indians have bargained their way to the top," Manyi said in an address delivered to the Durban Chamber of Commerce last year.

On a light note

The DA's federal chairperson, Wilmot James, said the address was recorded by SAFM radio on February 20 last year, a month before his controversial remarks about coloured people in an interview with DStv channel kykNET.

"The DA today calls on President Zuma to dismiss his government spokesperson, Jimmy Manyi," he said.

Manyi, also president of the Black Management Forum, confirmed he had made the remarks in his Durban address, but said they were in jest.

"The remarks were made in jest; just a jest, on a light note. I was quoting figures at the time. The remark was really just made in jest," he said.

He refused to react to Manuel's letter.

Willing to do battle

Manuel is the chairperson of the national executive committee deployed in the Western Cape to help the party regroup ahead of local government elections after losing the province to the DA in 2009.

In his letter, he said he would "do battle" to ensure that Parliament did not pass amendments to the Employment Equity Act drafted on Manyi's watch if they violated the non-racial spirit of the Constitution.

Manyi's woes began but weeks after he was appointed government spokesperson in February when the Solidarity trade union claimed that if the amendments were passed up to 80% of coloureds in the Western Cape would lose their jobs and posted a clip of the kykNET interview on YouTube.

Cosatu's Western Cape secretary general, Tony Ehrenreich, said he wanted to know the extent of Manyi's role in drafting the equity law amendment and called for an investigation into his remarks on coloured people.

"Was he instrumental in drafting the law as it come out, given his attitude?" Ehrenreich asked.

Feels violated

Political analyst Adam Habib suggested that Manuel's letter could be part of the ANC's campaign in the Western Cape ahead of the elections.

"Strategic calculations are being made about the Western Cape."

However, Habib said he believed at the same time that Manuel was personally outraged by Manyi's stance.

"The scale of it, the articulation of it, the harshness of it suggests that he is really angry and he feels violated in some personal sense."

Cope MP Dennis Bloem, who defected from the ANC in 2009, said Manuel's letter should be read as proof of a bitter battle over race policy in the ruling party.


Read more on:    bmf  |  kader asmal  |  tony ehrenreich  |  zwelinzima vavi  |  jimmy manyi  |  gwede mantashe  |  adam habib  |  trevor manuel  |  politics

Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24


Nkandla: Zuma 'still looking for undue benefit'

President Jacob Zuma has told supporters at an election rally in Mpumalanga that he had not wrongfully benefited from the upgrade to his Nkandla home.


Latest elections multimedia

Watch what happened when we blindfolded Helen Zille and asked her to eat random things
13 days to elections - news you need to know
11 Julius Malema quotes you'll never forget
DA won't get 30% - Zille
  • Tuesday Century City - 05:58 AM
    Road name: Ratanga Road Southbound
    ROADWORKS - lane closure between Ocean Spirit Avenue and Century Boulevard (until mid April)
  • Tuesday Mitchells Plain - 05:58 AM
    Road name: Spine Road
    ROAD CLOSED between Weltevreden Drive and Seafarer Drive due to roadworks (until mid April)
More traffic reports...

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now! - shop online today

Mother’s Day special offers!

Spoil mom with these awesome specials that will warm her heart. Shop now!

Twisp – the smoking alternative

Buy any 2 refills for R250 and save R149. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Mother’s Day specials on appliances

Browse our range of Mother’s Day appliances to spoil and pamper mom. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

DSTV Mobile iDrifta

The iDrifta is a plug and play mobile DVB-H receiver...

From R445.00

I'm shopping for:


You may be more sensitive today and can be influenced easily by the energies around you. Try not to be swayed too much by more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.