Mzwanele Jimmy Manyi (born on January 20th, 1964) is a 59 year-old politician and businessman well-known as the former CEO of the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS).
For about thirty years, Jimmy Manyi was a member of the African National Congress (ANC) and was appointed to many political positions, including the Director General of the Department of Labour. He later joined African Transformation Movement (ATM), where he was a National Executive Committee member, before finally pitching his tent with Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF). As a businessman, Manyi owns Afrotone Media Holdings and Lodidox.
Jimmy Manyi Is 59 years old
Mzwanele Jimmy Manyi is 59 years old. In Meadowlands, Minnesota, in the United States, the political figure was born on January 20th, 1964. His zodiac sign is Aquarius. Jimmy began making waves in the political scene in his late 20s.
And at the age of 59, he has assumed many political roles, and the most famous is his work as the spokesperson of the Jacob Zuma Foundation.
He Has Educational Qualifications From the Likes of Harvard
Mzwanele Manyi has impressive academic qualifications, which enabled him to climb the ladder in the corporate and political domains. He first attended Mhlotshana High School before completing his secondary school education at Jabulani Technical High in 1981. He then obtained a National Diploma in Geology from the Technikon Northern Transvaal in 1985 after joining the higher institution two years earlier.
Between 1986 and 1987, Jimmy Manyi studied Economic Geology at Wits Technikon and earned a National Higher Diploma. He then moved on to acquire a Marketing certificate from the Institue of Marketing and Management in the year 1999. In the next year, he ran a Senior Executive Program at the Harvard/Wits Business School.
Jimmy Manyi is a Member of the Economic Freedom Fighters
Jimmy Manyi is a member of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF). He announced his resignation from the African Transformation Movement (ATM) in early May 2023 and described his exit as peaceful. The former CEO of GCIS joined ATM in 2019, just before the national election, and afterward, became the party’s national executive committee member in charge of the policy and strategy division.
He spent four years as a leader of the political party before switching to EFF. Jimmy Manyi said that he joined the political party, which is the third largest party in South Africa, due to his belief that he would serve South Africans better in such an organization. He was welcomed to EFF by the party’s leader, Julius Malema.
Meanwhile, before joining ATM, Manyi was a member of the African National Congress for about 30 years. During such time, he held prestigious roles in government, and they include:
- Director General of the Department of Labour (September 2009 – January 2011)
- Cabinet Spokesperson and Chief Executive Officer of Government Communication Information System (February 2011 – August 2012)
- Advisor to Communications Minister (2014 – 2016)
Jimmy Manyi Has Had Decades of Corporate Work Experience
Though popular for his political activities, Mzwanele Jimmy Manyi has reportedly had over 20 years of working experience in the corporate world. He mainly worked for blue-chip companies and multinationals that span key sectors of the economy, including banking, mining, health, food, and IT. For several years, he was associated with Toyota South Africa and served as the general manager at one point.
He also was the Group Executive of Corporate Affairs at Tiger Brands Limited. And equally worked as the Group Executive Director for Business Development and Marketing at Meegbank. Furthermore, he held executive positions at Barclays PLC and the Nerdor Group. He is also said to have worked for ten years at Anglo-American as both a mining and exploration geologist.
Manyi has additionally served as the president of The Black Management Forum (BMF). The organization stands for the development and empowerment of managerial leadership mostly amongst black people within organizations. Later in August 2013, Mzwanele Manyi was appointed president of the Progressive Professionals Forum and retains the role at the time of this writing.
More so, he was the head of policy for the Black Business Council (BBC). However, he was forced to resign from his position in March 2018 due to his ties with the controversial Gupta family.
The Former ANC Member Owns Several Companies
Jimmy Manyi serves as the owner of a number of companies. Not only does he own Lodidox, but also owns Afrotone Media Holdings. Through his holding company, he purchased Infinity Media Networks, The New Age newspaper (TNA Media), and the ANN7 news channel in 2017 from the Guptas for R450 million through vendor financing.
Then in April 2018, the businessman rebranded The New Age newspaper as Afro Voice and ANN7 channel as Afro Worldview. Despite his efforts to grow the business, both ANN7 and TNA were subsequently shut down.
Is Jimmy Manyi Married?
Mzwanele Jimmy Manyi’s wife is Stella Manyi, and the couple is said to have been married for more than three decades. They have three children; two sons and a daughter. And amazingly, Jimmy and his better half are grandparents to three grandchildren.
The former government spokesperson set tongues wagging regarding his marital life when he posted on Twitter that he had been married to Stella for more than thirty years and had never raised his hands to abuse her. As his post was mostly misinterpreted, Jimmy Manyi was heavily criticised for his comment by Twitter users.
Jimmy And Stella Mzwanele Manyi Have Been Married For Over 30 Years pic.twitter.com/1857rWLNDd
— ThiboTalk.com (@ThiboTalk) May 10, 2023
Jimmy Manyi Has Faced Allegations of Corruption and Racism
For over 30 years that Jimmy Manyi has been in politics, he has been embroiled in several controversies. Some of these have led to his dismissal from political positions. Here’s a sneak peek into some of the scandals that have marred Jimmy’s political career.
Controversial Purchase of Gupta-Owned ANN7 and TNA
Manyi was dubbed “Jimmy the Gupta errand boy” by parliament member Floyd Shivambu following a series of controversial business deals with the Guptas. In 2017, he purchased the ANN7 channel and TNA owned by the Guptas through vendor financing. This meant that the family lent Jimmy Manyi the R450 million with which he purchased their assets.
Although he later claimed in April 2018 to have paid the Guptas in full for the deal, Mzwanele Manyi was reported to have been used by the Gupta family to get a new bank account for the two media companies. In 2016, four local bank accounts of the Guptas were shut down. Then after the Gupta leaks emerged in May 2017, the Bank of Broda closed all Gupta-linked bank accounts.
State Capture Commission Inquiry Regarding the Gupta Deal
Mzwanele Jimmy Manyi was accused of channeling millions from the government advertising funds to ANN7 and TNA, owned by the Guptas, while serving as GCIS CEO. He was asked to testify to the Commission of Inquiry into state capture chaired by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo in 2018.
Manyi was implicated by the then-acting GCIS chief executive, Phumla Williams, who told Zondo that during Manyi’s tenure, the procurement department was bullied into hosting TNA and SABC breakfast shows that fell outside of GCIS’s scope. Williams further stated that Jimmy Manyi made changes concerning the tender process at GCIS and insisted that the tender committee must report to him.
The 59-year-old denied the allegations and claimed he got rid of corruption during his term as GCIS chief executive, of which Phumla Williams was part. He further asserted that the TNA breakfast briefings in partnership with the SABC happened after his era.
Just so it's clear. Phumla was relating the changes I brought into GCIS. In the same breath she mentions TNA/SABC breakfast which in my view created the impression that I was somehow part of that. So I sent her a text for her to clarify that this happened AFTER my era pic.twitter.com/j1TRvG8q1N
— Mzwanele Manyi (@MzwaneleManyi) August 31, 2018
During his stint as the government spokesperson, Jimmy Manyi courted many controversies and was said to have left one of the worst legacies as a government communicator by political analyst Prof. Adam Habib. One such scandal was when he stated that colored people were too concentrated in Western Cape during his interview with the Afrikaans subscription channel, KykNet, in March 2010.
With Manyi asking colored South Africans to stop the over-concentration situation in the Western Cape and spread across other parts of the country, he was called a ‘worst-order racist’ by then National Planning Minister Trevor Manuel. He was later relinquished from the role for failing to properly convey government news to the public.
Also, Jimmy Manyi was suspended as the Director General of Labour in January 2011 as he failed to comply with the Public Service Code of Conduct and rules on how to manage conflicts of interest between his role as the Black Management Forum (BMF) president and his official duties. He reportedly offered BMF’s assistance to the Norwegian ambassador, Tor Christina-Hilden, in an official meeting with him.