Has Manyi been fired as Zuma’s spokesperson? Former president’s court papers seem to claim so | The Citizen





In papers filed in the Pietermaritzburg High Court, former president Jacob Zuma has stated that Mzwanele Manyi is not his spokesperson.

Zuma also claims that he is not represented by the Jacob G Zuma Foundation, but is merely a “patron”.

These claims were made in Zuma’s answering affidavit ahead of the court trial against News24 journalist Karyn Maughan. The case will be heard on Monday.

Zuma launched private prosecution against Maughan and NPA prosecutor Billy Downer, claiming they had colluded to publish his medical records without his permission.

ALSO READ: Karyn Maughan challenging prosecution a ‘stillborn attempt’ to ‘prevent inevitable’ – Zuma

Manyi appointed spokesperson

This contradicts an announcement in June 2021 that Manyi had been appointed as the official spokesperson for Zuma as well as the Jacob Zuma Foundation.

At the time, the former president’s daughter, Dudu Zuma-Sambudla, said on Twitter that Manyi will handle all Zuma’s communication matters and those of the JG Zuma Foundation.

Karyn Maughan

In her affidavit, Maughan states that she has been “repeatedly maligned and threatened, including by members of Mr. Zuma’s family and his representatives at Jacob G Zuma Foundation for doing my job”.

She also included a screengrab of a tweet by Manyi, and claims he is the “spokesperson for Mr. Zuma and the Zuma foundation”.

Zuma’s denial

In his answering affidavit, Zuma denied that he is represented by Manyi.

“I do not have ‘representative’ at the Jacob G Zuma Foundation. It is a separate and independent entity of which I’m a patron.”

He further states that Manyi does not represent him.

“I deny that Mr Manyi is my spokesperson.”

This, however, contradicts the initial statement by Zuma-Sambudla, as well as Manyi’s statements on the record that he in fact does represent Zuma.

In an interview with Mandy Wiener radio station 702, Manyi said he was “approached by the foundation to speak on behalf of the foundation and the patron of the foundation”.

“I’ll be speaking on his [Zuma’s] behalf, as the patron of the foundation, and I’ll be speaking on his behalf on all the various matters that are pending in court,” he said.

“I’m here to make sure that the side of president Zuma is aired,” he added.

So, has Manyi been fired or is Zuma misrepresenting the role that the former government spokesperson plays?

NOW READ: Mzwanele Manyi sells copies of Zuma’s book in a car boot





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