Short Report

Were ANN7 staff really laughing at Manyi? No‚ man‚ it was just a cough

25 August 2017 - 11:38
Jimmy Manyi at the launch of ANN7 news channel on August 21, 2013, in Johannesburg.
Jimmy Manyi at the launch of ANN7 news channel on August 21, 2013, in Johannesburg.
Image: James Oatway / Sunday Times

They say there's a sucker born every minute. If this is true‚ it means that‚ since Mzwanele Manyi was appointed Chief Operating Finger-puppet of the Gupta media empire‚ almost 10‚000 potential New Age readers and ANN7 viewers have been born.

No wonder Mr Manyi is looking particularly bullish. The propaganda outlets he now rents - sorry‚ owns - have many dozens of fans‚ but if he plays his cards right‚ he could soon have literally hundreds of people consuming his spin.

I'm friends on Facebook with one of them. Some would call him a loyal ANC cadre. Others might diagnose him as a codependent masochist. Either way‚ he was delighted when the news broke that Manyi had acquired a vast debt - sorry‚ I mean two large media companies.

Offering formal congratulations to Manyi and his company‚ Lodidox (isn’t that a veterinary suppository?)‚ this particular cadre ended off by asking‚ "Does it matter how this was financed?"

This man isn't a public figure and his opinion is worth no more than mine‚ but I quote him here because he succinctly expressed a view I've seen on social media many times this week: who cares where the money comes from as long as it's going to Our Team?

This is on the same level as being excited and proud because your dad has found a suitcase stuffed full of cash‚ and asking‚ “Does it matter that the suitcase is chained to a severed hand‚ and that on the hand is a bracelet reading ‘SICILIAN MAFIA 4 EVA’?” If you genuinely think it doesn't matter how propaganda outlets are financed then I'm afraid you deserve everything that's coming your way.

The honeymoon‚ however‚ seems to be ending. On Friday TimesLIVE reported that ANN7 staff laughed at Mr Manyi when he tried to explain where the cash had come from.

This would not have been a new experience for Manyi‚ who once declared that there are too many coloured people in the Western Cape. People have been laughing at him for years.

But it does present a professional challenge: how to spin a situation where your own propagandists think you’re a bit kak?

Still‚ I have faith that Manyi will get right back on the horse. Tomorrow’s headlines? “ANN7 Special Report: laughing or coughing? Science proves they can sound identical”.

No sir‚ you can’t keep a bad shill down.