'Insensitive' Manyi sacked
Controversial government spokesman Jimmy Manyi has been shown the door.
His three-year contract expired on Saturday and will not be renewed.
Though Collins Chabane, the minister in The Presidency responsible for performance monitoring and evaluation, said yesterday that Manyi had " made a good contribution to government communications ," i t is understood that a number of cabinet ministers wanted him sacked.
They were particularly unhappy with his habit of making what they considered to be insensitive remarks. These complaints had apparently been reported to Chabane.
One of the remarks that caused a stir was about e-tolling of highways in Gauteng .
Manyi said in February that the public must accept the tolls because they were not "just a bad dream".
"It's a reality, it's going to happen. No one should have any illusion whatsoever that this thing is going to go away," he said.
It is understood that Manyi's remarks irked some ministers, who claimed they only helped to harden attitudes and political resistance to e-tolls, and created the impression that the government was uncaring.
Earlier this month, the Sunday Times reported that Manyi's contract would not be renewed and that ANC veteranJessie Duarte would replace him.
Manyi joined the public service in August 2009 as director-general of the Department of Labour. In February last year he was transferred to Government Communication and Information Systems after his relationship with then labour minister Membathisi Mdladlana soured.
As CEO of Government Communication and Information Systems, he was the cabinet's spokesman.
DA spokesman Mmusi Maimane welcomed Manyi's removal, saying he had "consistently showcased behaviour unbecoming" of a government spokesman.
But Maimane asked whyManyi had not been relieved of his duties sooner.
"During his three years as government spokesman, he only soured the relationship between the government, the media and the public. The only question is: why wasn't Mr Manyi removed earlier?
"And indeed, why was he allowed to take up such a senior position in the first place, given his history of inappropriate conduct?"
The co-chairman of the Parliamentary Press Gallery Association, Donwald Pressly, said Manyi's relationship with journalists had often been strained because he viewed them with suspicion.
He said a prime example was at last week's post-cabinet briefing, in which he accused a journalist of being angry and chasing headlines when asked if the government had plans to prevent a repeat of the Lonmin Marikana disaster.
"When it was pointed out that this was a sensible and responsible question, he simply said the government needed to garner more facts before it commented."
Manyi would not be drawn on the details of his departure, saying only that he had finished his term.
The deputy CEO of corporate services, Phumla Williams, will act in the position until a permanent appointment is made .