#StateCaptureInquiry: Manyi was waiting to take Maseko’s place — Phumla Williams

Mzwanele Manyi was introduced as the new director general of government communication and information systems (GCIS) before Themba Maseko had packed up his desk. This is according to the testimony delivered on Friday by acting GCIS head Phumla Williams at the commission of inquiry into state capture.

Williams recounted to the commission — headed by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo — how Maseko was removed from his position at the helm of GCIS in early 2011. He was replaced by self-proclaimed Zuma loyalist Manyi that same day.

Williams said the staff at the GCIS headquarters reacted with shock to Maseko’s removal. Because her office was next door to Maseko, she tried to talk to him but found him with his head in his hands, slouched over his desk.

Maseko recounted his last day at GCIS on Thursday. He said he was not given a proper opportunity to bid farewell to his staff, saying there may have been an attempt to throw him a farewell party, but he had declined.

Maseko recounted how on January 31 2011, he had met with then minister in the presidency Collins Chabane who said he had received a phone call from then president Jacob Zuma asking to have Maseko redeployed.

Maseko told the commission that Chabane made it very clear he did not agree with the decision to remove him from his post at GCIS, but told Maseko he had to do “as his boss had instructed him”.

Zuma, who was out of the country at the time, is alleged to have said said that by the time he returned to South Africa he wanted Maseko out of GCIS.

Maseko’s testimony on Wednesday and Thursday detailed how he allegedly received a phone call from Zuma in 2010, asking him to aid the Gupta brothers with placing government advertisements in Gupta-owned The New Age newspaper.

READ MORE: Maseko tells Zondo: Former DGs have info on Gupta dealings

Williams told the commission that Manyi was lying in wait to be introduced to his new staff. He asked to be introduced before Maseko’s desk had been fully packed up, Williams recounted.

Williams told the commission that she has never witnessed such a rapid transfer of a director general to the head of a department in all her years as a public servant. She has worked in government since 1994.

“It was completely a culture shock … It did impact on the morale of the staff,” Williams said of Maseko’s removal.

Shortly after Manyi’s appointment, he started to make changes to the media buying processes of GCIS, Williams said.

Sarah Smit
Sarah Smit
Sarah Smit is a general news reporter at the Mail & Guardian. She covers topics relating to labour, corruption and the law.

Eastern Cape MEC orders graft investigation after two workers killed...

The killings of two council workers at the Amathole district municipality appear to be linked to tender fraud and corruption

Strike-off case pulls in judge

Judge Mushtak Parker is implicated in an application to strike off his former partners. He is also involved in the fight between the Western Cape high court’s judge president and his deputy

One strike and you’re out – registrar tells unions

A municipal workers’ union is the first to be sanctioned for not following the new rule when deciding whether to go on strike

Press Releases

Dr Mathew Moyo’s journey to academic victory

The NWU's chief director for library and information services was appointed as a board member of the National Council for Library and Information Services.

UKZN pays tribute to Joseph Shabalala, Doctor of Music (honoris causa)

The university joins the global community in mourning the passing of legendary musician and founding member of Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Dr Bhekizizwe Joseph Shabalala.

South Africa to be almost R 14-billion wealthier when SAB Zenzele BB-BBEE scheme winds down in April 2020

It’s the biggest BB-BEE FMCG payout in South Africa’s history, with a new scheme to be launched

UKZN vice-chancellor calls for perspective and creative engagement on the way forward

In addition to overcoming the deadlock between UKZN and students, a way must be found to reconcile the university's financial obligations and students' long-term needs.

Survey shows South Africans’ approval of president but not of political parties

According to the survey, 62% of South Africans think Cyril Ramaphosa is doing his job well, while 39% say no political party represents their views.

Introducing the Samsung Galaxy S20: Change the way you experience the world

The Samsung Galaxy S20 series features unprecedented AI camera technologies built for the future of communications

Andrew Makenete joins Africa Agri Tech as an event ambassador

Makenete has a wealth of experience in the agricultural sector

Is your company prepared for the coronavirus?

Companies should consider the direct and indirect impacts of the pandemic when evaluating whether they are prepared for the coronavirus, says ContinuitySA.