'There's no crime in talking to the Guptas' - Manyi

Mzwanele (Jimmy) Manyi. (Netwerk24)
Mzwanele (Jimmy) Manyi. (Netwerk24)

Johannesburg - No independent institutions have found the Gupta family guilty of any wrongdoing, Progressive Professional Forum (PPF) head Mzwanele "Jimmy" Manyi has said.

Speaking to broadcaster Cape Talk on Monday night, Manyi was responding to reports at the weekend that he had approached the Gupta family seeking positions for himself and attorney Xoliswa Mpongoshe at state-owned-entities.

Two emails sent from Manyi's Gmail account to Sahara CEO Ashu Chawla in 2014 show how he mentioned "as discussed with Tony [Gupta]" and then attached the two CVs. The emails form part of a huge batch of emails obtained by City Press, News24’s sister publication.

On Monday, Manyi, who is the former government spokesperson, said there was nothing wrong with what he had done, and that if given the chance to do it again, he would.


He said people were so desperate for employment that he would use any opportunity to assist them.

"If they say a Gupta can assist, I will give a CV to a Gupta," Manyi said.

"In this country people are so desperate. They eat rats out of desperation, they eat snakes, they eat grass, they drink petrol out of desperation. So if I am sitting in a position where I can assist people not to go and eat rats but try and ensure that their CV gets into the pot for processing I will definitely do that. Will I do it today? I will still do it even today.”

Manyi said he had full confidence in the integrity of the process government undertook in filling a position.

"Therefore regardless of who put the CV in the box, the issue is the integrity and the process of government. From where I sit [it] is impeccable and it would weed out whatever was not worth merit and therefore any CV that eventually gets appointed, that CV would have merit as appointed by Cabinet."

Manyi said those who were criticising him were hypocrites, saying the forwarding of colleagues’ CVs was something they all did on a daily basis.

"We do this every day in the professional space. I can tell you now, that if professionals are honest, they will tell you how many of them send CVs to me and to many other people to say 'please forward, please forward'.

"We do this every day in the professional space, not only CVs by the way. Some say 'Please assist me with funding, I don’t know this CEO, please introduce me'. We do this every day," he said.

Guptas 'disrupting white monopoly capital'

Manyi said the Gupta family had done nothing wrong in the eyes of the country’s independent institutions and the only reason they were being labelled as wrongdoers was because they were disrupting the business elite from taking advantage of South Africans.

"I have a problem with hypocrites that we have in this country that are going to say Guptas this, Guptas that, and yet the same people have got nothing to say with banks of this country that are ripping us off every day - these hypocrites are quiet about this.

"The crime the Guptas have committed is to disrupt the white monopoly capital in their eating [of money]," he said.

Manyi said he did not associate the Gupta name with leprosy because he did not suffer from white monopoly capital’s spell.

"I do not have a problem of a Gupta-phobia. If you associate me with a Gupta that does nothing to worry me because Guptas are not outlaws."

The only ones who had anything negative to say about the controversial family, according to Manyi, was "white monopoly capital media".

"The only people that have pronounced on the Guptas are people with no credibility, the liars that are correcting their mistakes every day. The white monopoly capital media. So I do not take media seriously in this country. I do not read their newspapers because they lie every day.

"So if media says Guptas are wrong, I don’t take that seriously - so what media says means nothing to me," he said.

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