State capture inquiry: Mzwanele Manyi accuses evidence leader of not 'operating in good faith'

Former CEO of Government Communication and Information System Mzwanele Manyi testifies at the judicial commission of inquiry into state capture. (Gallo Images/Thapelo Morebudi)
Former CEO of Government Communication and Information System Mzwanele Manyi testifies at the judicial commission of inquiry into state capture. (Gallo Images/Thapelo Morebudi)

Former Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) director-general Mzwanele Manyi has accused the Zondo commission's evidence leader of not "operating in good faith" in how she posed questions about his termination of service at the Department of Labour.

Testifying for the second time before inquiry chairperson Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, Manyi said advocate Kate Hofmeyr, who led his evidence, was "pushing her own narrative" that he was dismissed by former labour minister Membathisi Mdladlana in 2010.

"She is not operating in good faith," he said.

Manyi added that Hofmeyr was "here just to try to win this battle. We are sitting here wasting time on an unlawful letter".

"Why don't you make your point, Ms Hofmeyr?" Manyi asked.

He also accused Hofmeyr of asking leading questions, in order to make a "nefarious point".

False statements

"I said here yesterday (Wednesday), I have no evidence of having being dismissed, because I was getting paid."

But Hofmeyr did not back down. She accused Manyi of making false statements during his testimony on Wednesday.

"The suggestions that there is bad faith on my part, insofar as I put to him what are clearly obvious and pertinent facts, that the previous testimony did not refer to the disciplinary hearing being convened and adjourned…

"Mr Manyi, in your testimony yesterday, I want to put it to you that you made four statements that are untrue," she said.

Hofmeyr said Manyi's false statements were:

 - That he had never received a termination letter from Mdladlana. The letter is dated October 29, 2010;

 - That the first time Manyi saw the letter was on October 18, 2019, when the commission gave it to him;

 - That he was never dismissed from the labour department and that he remained employed, but on leave, from the period from his suspension to the time he was transferred to GCIS.

Manyi responded: "There is nothing false that I have said."

He maintained that he had never received the letter of termination.

"A minister is actually a caretaker for a director general. He is not an employer of a DG. A minister does not have the power to dismiss a DG.

"So you can write that 'I am dismissing you', you can write all kinds of things and purport to dismiss, but the only time the word dismissal or termination really takes effect…is when you have the consent of the president," Manyi said.

Manyi was transferred from the labour department to GCIS in February 2011, replacing Themba Maseko.

Maseko testified last year that he was fired shortly after refusing to abide by then-president Jacob Zuma's instruction to "help" the Guptas with their new venture, the now-defunct The New Age newspaper, in 2010.

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