'I was not informed about Mzwanele Manyi's transfer to GCIS': Mildred Oliphant

04 December 2019 - 13:33 By Cebelihle Bhengu
Former labour minister Mildred Oliphant appeared at the commission of inquiry into state capture in Parktown, Johannesburg, on Tuesday.
Former labour minister Mildred Oliphant appeared at the commission of inquiry into state capture in Parktown, Johannesburg, on Tuesday.
Image: Veli Nhlapo

Former labour minister Mildred Oliphant appeared before the state capture commission on Tuesday, where she was quizzed about the dismissal of Mzwanele Manyi and his transfer to Government Communications Information System (GCIS) as its spokesperson.

During his testimony at the inquiry, Manyi alleged that he and Oliphant met at Johannesburg's OR Tambo International Airport to discuss his dismissal as the department's DG. Oliphant denied this.

This is her testimony in seven quotes:

Deployment to labour

“I was called by former president [Jacob] Zuma to say, as the president of the ANC, the officials of the party had decided to deploy me and that I must come on Monday to be sworn in. I was called to make the arrangements to come to the presidential guest house. When I arrived at the guest house, there were officials of the presidency ... I was asked to look at my name in the attendance register and sign.”

Appointment of heads of departments 

“With the directors-general, there is an advertisement which happens in consultation with the minister in public services and administration. The minister of that department will constitute the panel of ministers that will interview the candidates, after which two recommendations are made by the minister of public services, as he/she is the custodian of the Public Service Act. After this, they submit the proposal [for approval].”

Manyi's transfer to GCIS from labour 

“I received a call and he said he intended to appeal or take the department of employment & labour to court because he was dismissed unfairly. I said I'm still new in the department and I'm getting briefed by the senior officials. After getting that call I approached former minister [Richard] Baloyi for assistance. Baloyi said I might get information from Manyi, whom I called, and he maintained he was dismissed unfairly.”

“Meeting” Manyi at the airport 

“I think [Manyi] misled his attorneys, because I didn't meet him. After the swearing in, I went back to KwaZulu-Natal. My recollection is that I met Manyi after I met with Mr Baloyi. I met him at the Sheraton Hotel, where I was booked for accommodation.”

Oliphant and Baloyi “planning” Manyi's future 

“I said if there are any issues, particularly with the implementation of the procedures, I'll be happy if he [Manyi] can be transferred to another department. I informally discussed this [moving Manyi to GCIS] with minister Baloyi. I took it that minister Baloyi would deal with all the issues. When [Manyi] was transferred I was not even consulted.”