DA wants probe into Manyi appointment

2012-01-18 20:11

Cape Town - The DA is to initiate a probe into the fitness of government spokesperson Jimmy Manyi to be a member of Media Development and Diversity Agency (MDDA) board.

The party was responding on Wednesday to the presidency's assertion that it was the president’s prerogative to appoint Manyi to the MDDA board.

"You would have thought that the president would have learned something from the Menzi Simelane saga," Democratic Alliance spokespersons Natasha Michaels said.

On December 1, the Supreme Court of Appeal declared invalid President Jacob Zuma's November 2009 appointment of Simelane as National Director of Public Prosecutions.

The court found Zuma's decision was inconsistent with the Constitution if read with the National Prosecuting Authority Act.

Michaels agreed that Zuma had powers to make direct appointments to the MDDA board.

"But his decision must still be made within the parameters of the law. Like his decision to appoint Menzi Simelane, we have good reason to believe he failed to apply his mind in this matter," she said.

"For this reason, the DA will initiate a parliamentary investigation to ascertain whether or not Jimmy Manyi is fit to fulfil his MDDA board member duties as provided for in Section 6(1)(d) of the MDDA Act.

Michaels claimed Manyi’s appointment was invalid and unlawful because, among other things, section two of the act stated that the MDDA was "independent", and had to exercise its powers without political interference.

The appointment of Manyi, who is currently also government spokesperson, to the agency clearly jeopardised the entity's independence.

Section five of the act stated that a person was disqualified from board membership if he had "as a result of improper conduct, been removed from an office of trust".

Michaels said: "The presidency did not explain why Mr Manyi’s suspension from the department of labour did not disqualify him as a candidate for the board."

Section 4(4) of the act required members of the board to be people who were "committed to fairness, freedom of expression, openness, and accountability".

In 2011, Manyi’s threat to withdraw advertising revenue from newspapers that did not toe the line in their coverage of the government pointed to a lack of commitment to these principles, she said.

Finally, fostering diversity in the media was a key legislative mandate of the MDDA.

"Given Mr Manyi’s history of making racially divisive comments, it is a matter of principle that he should not serve on a body tasked with promoting diversity," Michaels said.

She said Zuma had embarrassed himself through a number of bad appointments that needed to be reversed.

Simelane's appointment, the renewal of former chief justice Sandile Ngcobo’s term, and the appointment of Willem Heath as head of the Special Investigating Unit were all poorly considered.

"It looks as if the appointment of Jimmy Manyi to the MDDA board may be in the same category," Michaels said.

"If Parliament concludes that he is not fit to hold office, we will table a resolution in the National Assembly to have Mr Manyi’s appointment revoked."

On Tuesday, the presidency defended Manyi's appointment.

The law allowed for the president to make three of the nine appointments to the MDDA board without Parliament's approval, spokesman Mac Maharaj said.

"The law is very clear on how the nine members of the board be appointed."

The appointments were in line with sections 4(1)(b) and 4(1)(c) of the MDDA Act.

"Section 4(1)(b) of the act says six members be appointed by the president on the recommendation of Parliament."

However, section 4(1)(c) states that the remaining three members be appointed directly by the president, he said.

Manyi has declined to comment.

On Monday, Zuma announced that Manyi was among a five-member team appointed to serve a three-year term. The others were Phenyo Nonqane, Rene Smith, Thato Mahapa, and Ingrid Louw.

  • Max - 2012-01-18 20:24

    Some people just do not have the ability to learn....some of them leave school at round about grade 3, so no surprises here.

  • Vegi - 2012-01-18 20:38

    The DA should mind its own temporal business (the Western Cape) and leave Manyi alone. There is not a single individual in the DA who possesses the intellectual talents of Mr Jimmy Manyi. Leave him alone. Mind your own business.

      Max - 2012-01-18 20:42

      I agree Vegi, it is even more than a talent its more like the 8th wonder of the world for a person with such a low IQ to actually be able to speak.

      henry.hattingh - 2012-01-18 20:50

      Ha ha ha ha . . . . !!!!!

      braamc - 2012-01-18 20:56

      @vegetable, if you had one more brain cell, you will bark

      Irene - 2012-01-18 21:14

      Veggie, you're off.

      Johan Grobbelaar - 2012-01-18 21:30

      Duuuude, u are funny. Not really the sharpest knife in a butter factory, but hey... Funny nevertheless. Imagine how great life must be for u... No need or ability to think for urself, so u just go down the river spewing the biggest load of rubbish... Man... Then again... Being so bitter and defensive with absolutely no leg to stand on and making ur name @ss on a public forum with ur comments could also be considered a disability... Ag u know... If u can't think 4 urself, then making ur name publically @ss and advertising ur intellectual deficiency would probably not faze u... Yep, I would really like to be so backwards, defensive and gullibe/stuuuuuupid. It does make life easier I guess... :)

      George - 2012-01-18 21:45

      Vegi you still throwing bread crumbs to the helecoptors

      TheWatcher - 2012-01-18 22:53

      Ronald - 2012-01-18 23:16

      Hey Veggi, you might not be used to doing the job you get paid for, so do not encourage the DA to do the same. They are doing the job their voters, by implication, delegated to them, and that is to do their very best to see to it that the country is run to the best of the ability that their seats in Parliament allow them. Part of that job is to uphold the rules and regulations that keeps Zuma from from flouting rules and laws as he sees fit. An eight year old has the savvy to realise that Manyi is unfit for public office due to a persistent case of foot in mouth disease.

      Jacqui - 2012-01-19 10:59

      Thanks for the laugh, you are funny.

  • ISO - 2012-01-18 21:35

    Smacked by the book :)

  • Kolobe - 2012-01-18 22:00

    don't remember the da objecting to a white appointee ...this doesn't come as a surprise

      ISO - 2012-01-18 22:05

      Its not about colour, its about compentency and ability!

      Ronald - 2012-01-18 23:32

      My, my. Incapable of a comment without the race card, eh? If the appointee was for example Carl Niehaus, the result would have been the same, because he has admitted to being a criminal and unfit for office. Surprise, surprise, he is WHITE, ANC and admitted to committing fraud. So please look at the common denominator.

      Jacqui - 2012-01-19 10:58

      Kolobe, still can't get pass black and white. Those are funeral colours, friend.

  • Bokfan - 2012-01-18 23:24

    The anc wants to run Mzansi like its own private shebeen. Sorry for them but that plan wont fly. Manyi is unfit for anything but the role of party mbongi. And even there it would be a dodgy appointment. Its time the people with the mandate stopped their minority bashing and started applying some basic management principles to operating SA Inc as a productive concern.

  • Juan - 2012-01-19 01:45

    "Zuma failed to apply his mind" It's been the story of his presidency

  • pws69 - 2012-01-19 06:44

    "section 4(1)(c) states that the remaining three members be appointed directly by the president, he said." Yes Mac, and we will just conveniently IGNORE all the remaining sections that we don't like. Actually, that pretty much sums up ANC honesty. Just ignore anything in law that you don't like. one law for the ANC piggies, and another law for the rest of us.

  • Colleen - 2012-01-19 07:19

    He is a loose cannon

  • Andre - 2012-01-19 07:58

    The integrity and conduct of of JZ is shocking and proof that he is completely out of his deapth. The same for his advisors. They are an embarressment to SA.

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