Jimmy Manyi state capture inquiry

(YouTube screenshot / eNCA)

State capture inquiry: Jimmy Manyi shared some startling revelations

Jimmy Manyi got stuck into the government’s media department, dropping bombshells on his former colleagues at the state capture inquiry.

Jimmy Manyi state capture inquiry

(YouTube screenshot / eNCA)

Jimmy Manyi has been singing like a canary at the state capture inquiry and gave a relatively impressive account of himself in front of the Zondo Commission.

The former GCIS chief pleaded with the hearing to let him begin his own testimony, when Barbara Hogan finished early in the afternoon. Mzwanele “Jimmy” Manyi wasn’t due to appear until 23 November, but his request to get going was granted, and he was obviously thrilled with the green light.

Manyi, whose allegedly close ties with the Guptas are yet to be investigated by the commission, went in hard on the Phumla Williams administration at the government’s media department. He accuses her of cronyism and corrupt practices that would only favour the Gupta family.

Here’s the best of what he had to say. We’ve summarised the dramatic events of the commission from Wednesday, and following this, we can’t wait to have Manyi on the stand again.

Jimmy Manyi at the state capture inquiry – highlights, testimony and evidence:

The lack of due process at GCIS was something that immediately concerned Manyi. He confirmed that the rot had begun to take hold of the department before he arrived. The first thing that turned his head was how they did business with their service providers.

Multi-million rand deals were scribbled onto pieces of paper – one held up to the commission by Manyi himself – lacking any serious detail or depth. He also revealed that the department used to “split” large invoices, a practice that’s highly irregular in top levels of governance.

The tea was spilt further when he mentioned StatsSA paid R64 million to an unknown service provided, claiming that the contract was never delivered to his office. Manyi was extremely concerned by gross irregularities with payments to service providers.

“All this was in the empire of Ms Williams. Because all supply chains reported to her […] no checks and balances, nothing. What you have here is people who have no freshness, people who are very vulnerable to corruption.”

“Long-standing members of the committee were very vulnerable to corruption because everybody knows they are on that committee. Then I thought ‘no, this is time for a change'” – Jimmy Manyi

Manyi also took issue with how Williams characterised the people he appointed to procurement positions. He said she wanted to appoint “insiders only” and would not listen to applications from elsewhere. Jimmy made it clear he wanted to hire highly-educated, unquestionably qualified applicants instead.

Phumla Williams and state capture

Williams is currently the acting head of the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS). She was in the state capture inquiry hot seat back in September, where she shared some emotional testimony.

Williams said that ‘acting’ in the position had made it easier for Faith Muthambi strongarm and bully her. She further accused the former minister of failing to show strategic leadership and alleged that people were appointed to posts irregularly, in an attempt to bypass her.