Manyi not sorry over ANC birthday party

2012-03-29 22:43

Cape Town - Government spokesperson Jimmy Manyi is "unapologetic" about the number of government employees who attended the ANC's centenary celebrations.

Manyi said in an interview with Sapa on Thursday that the presence of government officials at the event was "not a secret", as they had a role to play in Mangaung.

"We were there unapologetically," he said. "Government had a role to play there. This is not a crime.

"The issue here is that this was a continental event. There were lots of other heads of state. It was not an ANC rally."

Manyi said there was a protocol when heads of state visited South Africa.

Government employees had to ensure that the security and other needs of those heads of state were looked after.

Misleading

"The government has to employ officials to take care of that.

"That we are not hiding."

Manyi said hundreds of government employees travelled to Mangaung in January on official business without going to the event.

He said a question asked by the Democratic Alliance in Parliament on how much the event had cost the taxpayer was "misleading".

"They ask you, were any officials in Mangaung in December and January, you say yes or no and they want relevant details.

"The situation is that in January or any other month government officials are all over the country.

"Some officials were in Mangaung for other business. They came back without attending the centenary."

Simplistic


The DA's question was "simplistic" and aimed at eliciting an answer and creating confusion.

Manyi said it was difficult to calculate how much had been spent on sending officials to the event as many had gone to the city on official business.

He said the DA could interrogate him when the government submitted its annual report to Parliament.

"They can sit there and wait for the annual report and can ask line by line. There is no running away here. They have an opportunity to ask anything and everything they want to."

DA federal chairperson Wilmot James, who asked the question in Parliament, said on Thursday that Manyi was "going to great lengths" to ensure that the amount of public money spent on the ANC’s centenary celebrations in January remained hidden.

Leaked memo

He said a leaked Government and Communication Information System (GCIS) memo, which was in the DA’s possession, offered an insight into Manyi’s "machinations".

The document entitled "Guidelines for replying to written parliamentary questions on official visits to Bloemfontein" was circulated by Manyi to all government communicators on Monday.

It instructed officials to avoid the parliamentary question by "referring the questioning DA MP to annual reports to find the information", and to make the argument that it is "not peculiar to have officials travelling to Bloemfontein, or any part of the country for that matter, for official business".

Communicators also had to defend officials' trips on the basis that "Government is confident that their Mangaung experience will help shape them into public servants that serve their country with humility".

The instruction was followed up by a media statement by Manyi rebutting the DA's question.

Core issue

James responded that Manyi’s arguments were irrelevant to the core issue that government money was used for a party celebration.

On Wednesday, an e-mail was sent to government communicators telling them not to respond using the suggested guidelines "until further notice".

A new set of guidelines was sent on Thursday morning.

According to James, the document stated "the old line" that only officials who "happened" to be in Bloemfontein attended the celebration and that those who did would somehow gain "humility" from the experience was gone.

"The new line is that 'a number of state agencies and departments were mandated to make preparations as part of the courtesies extended to any president/head of state visiting a country'," the document allegedly said.

James said Manyi's "bland and generic responses" were designed to shut down the DA’s very specific request for information.

"These attempts to deflect away from the real issue do not fool us," he said.

"If government can justify spending money on government officials travelling to Mangaung why can’t it tell us how much was spent and who went.

"Is it because the numbers are so large that they will cause a public outcry regardless of the explanation cooked up by Manyi’s spin machine?" he asked.

- SAPA

Read more on:    anc  |  jimmy manyi  |  bloemfontein  |  anc centenary
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com 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
89 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 

Fire white civil servants in W Cape - Cosatu

If the ANC wins the Western Cape in the 7 May general election, Cosatu will ask it to fire more than half the white senior civil servants.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Thursday Bellville - 12:09 PM
    Road name: Old Paarl Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working correctly at Harrod Drive
  • Thursday Epping - 11:42 AM
    Road name: N7 Vanguard Drive
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bofors Circle
 
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!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. 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!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. 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!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! 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

Nokia Lumia 800

The stunningly social Nokia Lumia 800 features head-turning design, ...

From R2395.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be required to travel or get information for your job. This may be restricting in some way or something may slow things...read more

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

Hello 

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 24.com network.

Settings

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.