Jimmy Manyi ATM

Photo: Mahlase Zama / Twitter / ATM

ATM withdrawal: Jimmy Manyi’s political party faces a damaging split

You can’t keep all the people happy, all of the time. Jimmy Manyi and his ATM party are experiencing some teething problems ahead of the elections.

Jimmy Manyi ATM

Photo: Mahlase Zama / Twitter / ATM

Despite what the likes of Jimmy Manyi and Hlaudi Motsoeneng tell you, leading a political party is no walk in the park. The former has found that out the hard way this weekend, as a breakaway faction of the African Transformation Movement (ATM) claimed they would deregister the party and instead join the ANC.

Leaders of the breakaway group say ATM was registered under the constitution of its organisation the African Transformation Congress (ATC). Now, the ATC are demanding that the organisation dissolves itself entirely and forms part of the ruling party.

Jimmy Manyi given his biggest political challenge yet

The power struggle is set to intensify, after disgruntled members sent a letter to the Independent Electoral Commission asking to be removed from the official list of parties running for election on Wednesday 8 May.

However, senior management structures of the party are looking to wrestle control back from the dissidents. A lengthy statement was issued on Saturday night by the ATM, denouncing the ATC group for their “unfounded allegations”.

  • You can read their full statement here:

They claim that the rebels have no mandate to take the movement off-course, and have filed their own letter to IEC which attempts to explain why the ATC should not be allowed to dismantle the African Transition Movement.

Power struggles in the ATM

It had all been plain-sailing for Jimmy Manyi’s newly-established party. The ATM made a splash last month when they secured 30% of the vote in an Eastern Cape by-election just weeks after forming. Their second-place finish was a huge statement of intent, but it seems the honeymoon period is over for the party.

Manyi transitioned from business to politics earlier in his career. He had made his name as a multi-millionaire businessman in South Africa and became the CEO of the government’s communications department.

However, his relationship with the Gupta brothers has come under serious scrutiny – particularly his influence at the now-defunct news channel ANN7 – and lead to his feisty appearance at the state capture inquiry.