Manyi gatecrashes, kicks up a fuss at Busa powwow

2011-06-02 09:06

Government’s chief spokesperson Jimmy Manyi is apparently putting undue pressure on Business Unity SA (Busa), the umbrella organisation for the country’s business sector, on who it should appoint as chief executive.

Sake24 has learnt that the controversial Manyi, who apart from his position as government spokesperson is also president of the Black Management Forum (BMF), recently turned up uninvited at a Busa management meeting and insisted on addressing the committee on the appointment of a new Busa head.

The position became vacant when Jerry Vilakazi vacated it on Monday.

Busa chair André Lamprecht initially did not want to permit Manyi to address the meeting.

However, Manyi kicked up such a fuss that Lamprecht subsequently agreed, on condition that he say his piece and then leave the meeting without any further participation in the proceedings.

Manyi’s demand came after Busa’s appointment of a recruitment company to seek candidates for the position.

All Busa members, comprising all national business organisations, had also been asked to nominate candidates.

Several top businessmen told Sake24 that in his speech Manyi declared that the recruitment process decided upon by Busa was unnecessary, and he demanded that it be cancelled immediately.

Manyi said the BMF considered it had the right to appoint the Busa chief executive.

He said the BMF would submit a list of two or three names to the Busa management committee, from which a chief executive could be selected.

According to Manyi, no other candidate could be considered. He did not disclose the names.

The leading businessmen told Sake24 that Manyi’s speech had been “entirely out of order”.The incident was preceded by a similar demand by BMF vice-president Thembakazi Mnyaka at the previous management meeting.

Labour legislation bullying The demand had been formally and unanimously rejected by the management committee, and this was conveyed in a letter to the BMF by Busa president Futhi Mathoba.

After Manyi’s tirade at the Busa meeting, the BMF told Busa in a threatening letter that it had the support of various “black organisations” in Busa and that “the caucus” insisted on appointing the chief executive.

The letter said that for the BMF this was a deal breaker that would determine further participation in Busa by the BMF.

Yesterday, it came to light that Manyi and Mnyaka had also sabotaged positions on labour legislation Busa had wanted to convey to government at an all-day conference with President Jacob Zuma in February.

Before the conference, Busa had followed a comprehensive commissioning process to formulate a duly authorised position on labour legislation.

The BMF’s ordinary representatives in Busa had fully participated.When Busa wanted to start a presentation on the matter, Manyi (who attended the summit conference as cabinet spokesperson) had interrupted it.

He informed Zuma that the business sector had no problems with labour legislation and fully supported it.Mnyaka, who formed part of the business delegation, stood up and confirmed this, said one of Sake24’s sources.

Busa had then not put its view on labour legislation to Zuma.

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