State capture inquiry: Manyi drops GCIS corruption bombshell

2018-11-14 18:34

Former Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) CEO Mzwanele Manyi highlighted alleged corruption at the agency in 2011 as a reason for sweeping changes he made to procurement structures shortly after his appointment.

Manyi was granted an opportunity to give testimony to refute allegations by current GCIS CEO Phumla Williams at the Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture on Wednesday.

He was initially supposed to do so on November 23, but was called to the commission on Wednesday in what the chairperson of the inquiry, Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, described as a miscommunication and regrettable.

Allegations against Manyi

Williams, who was a deputy director general at GCIS at the time of Manyi's stewardship, testified before the commission in August.

She made allegations against Manyi relating to his significant restructuring of GCIS, including the disbandment of the bid adjudication committee and changing the reporting lines of the internal auditor and chief director responsible for media buying to himself.

Manyi petitioned Zondo before the lunch break on Wednesday to allow him to deal with the issues Williams raised because he believed he was called to the commission to do so, and it would be unfair if he was not allowed to go ahead.

While Manyi set out to deal with Williams' allegations against him, he also introduced a new issue to the commission which implicated Williams in signing off an allegedly irregular contract before his arrival at GCIS.

Manyi submitted a National Treasury investigation report that highlighted procurement irregularities with two service providers hired to do work surrounding an awareness campaign about the 2011 census.

No authority

Manyi read from the report, which he said found that Williams had signed off a contract worth R26m to one of the service providers when she did not have the authority to do so.

The company was later paid R6.9m before the scheme was uncovered, Manyi said.

READ: Corruption case opened against GCIS' Phumla Williams

The same Treasury probe found that a second service provider was irregularly paid R700 000 for the same project, while StatsSA allegedly paid a service provider R64m to provide artwork for the ad campaigns on the 2011 census, but never provided any work.

Manyi dismissed most of Williams' allegations that he had restructured the procurement space at GCIS for nefarious gains, using the Treasury investigation to highlight his reasons for wanting to exert tighter controls on expenditure.

Famously, during Williams' testimony, Manyi sent her a text message which read: "Hi Phumla, please indicate that the CFO Zweli Momeka and breakfasts happened AFTER my era."

Good terms

Williams alerted Zondo to the text and Manyi was called to the commission to explain it.

He told Zondo on Wednesday that it was sent in good faith and he simply wanted her to set the record straight.

His text referred to the infamous TNA Media Breakfasts, hosted by the Gupta family's media company.

Manyi said he left GCIS on good terms with Williams and could not understand when the acrimony arose.

ALSO READ: State capture inquiry: Manyi tried to influence my testimony- Phumla Williams

He is expected to return to the commission on November 23 at which time he will be questioned on several issues which have allegedly implicated him in state capture.

Meanwhile, Williams took to Twitter on Wednesday evening to state that she was sticking by the testimony she had given.

Read more on:    mzwanele manyi  |  phumla williams  |  state capture inquiry
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