The race to the upcoming national and provincial elections has increased its tempo, with Mzwanele Manyi announcing he is joining a new political party.
Former owner of the defunct The New Age newspaper and ANN7 television channel, as well former senior government official and businessman, Manyi officially announced that he has joined the African Transformation Movement (ATM).
Manyi is not in the party’s top leadership, but is a member of the national executive committee (NEC) heading policy and strategy.
Addressing the media in Braamfontein, Manyi announced that he had left the ANC and joined the ATM, which was registered in June 2018.
He said he has been a member of the ANC for more than three decades, and had occupied senior positions in government, including being spokesperson and a director general.
Manyi blamed the ruling party for failing to transform the country and the lives of black people, adding that the party had been "captured".
He slammed State Owned Enterprises (SOE) for failing to have confidence in black people to lead them.
ANC wasting time
Manyi also accused the ANC of wasting time before beginning to expropriate land without compensation, and called for an amendment of the Constitution.
"The 54th ANC conference could not deal with economic transformation. The party is fatigued, it is tired and must be allowed to retire… The country needs a fresh approach to liberate people and allow young people to govern.
"I have never been a list person and never a career person. I was running a business and currently I am not in business. I was hounded out of business. I am in politics now out of choice. The current political environment doesn't create an enabling environment for me and others," he said.
He added that the ATM had tried to speak to the ANC before it was formed. The party was formed after the ANC didn't respond to its leaders and failed to honour meetings.
"I am here with ATM forever. There has never been a time when the state has never been captured. What I denied are the things said about my name in GCIS [during the Zondo commission)]. I am the only one who provided evidence and the person who testified against me is facing fraud charges.
"I stopped corruption at GCIS. I am challenging anybody here to raise their hands if they say I have stolen a cent from government. I won’t apologise for being associated with the Guptas and I don't have 'Guptaphobia'.
"The Guptas have not been found guilty in the country by any court. If the Guptas will give me money, I will take it. If they would wake up one day and say Manyi, here is R20m, I will take it. I have not been to the Guptas to seek funds. If ATM says I must go to Parliament, I will go to Parliament."
Manyi said the only challenge to the ATM is the ANC and that all others political parties were "spaza shops".
The party's president, Vuyolwethu Zungula, said the party was a coming together of all citizens, irrespective of their backgrounds and affiliation.
The party would lead the country after the elections, Manyi claimed.
"Although the formation of the ATM was inspired by spiritual leaders, it is not an extension of church, but rather a political party formed to transform South Africans. The core values of the party are peace, Ubuntu, transformation, servant leadership and accountability.
"…We are therefore confident that ATM is here to govern, after 2019 elections, ATM is here to transform the lives of South Africans for the better," he said.
The party claims it has held vibrant and successful provincial launches in all nine provinces between September and November, 2018, and that the manifesto launch was held in Mangaung in Bloemfontein in the Free State in December.
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