Mzwanele Manyi slammed for ‘SA is in free fall’ claim

13 July 2021 - 10:30
By cebelihle bhengu AND Cebelihle Bhengu
Mzwanele Manyi is the spokesperson for former president Jacob Zuma. File photo.
Image: Alon Skuy Mzwanele Manyi is the spokesperson for former president Jacob Zuma. File photo.

Jacob Zuma’s spokesperson Mzwanele Manyi tweeted himself into hot water on Monday by saying SA was in “free fall” and that masses were ruling themselves during violent protests in parts of Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal.

Manyi was critical of the decision by the cabinet to deploy the military in affected areas to quell the violence, destruction of infrastructure and looting of businesses. 

He said the protesters were unarmed though shopping centres were broken into and infrastructure and malls were torched during the demonstrations. 

The demonstrations started in KwaZulu-Natal last week as supporters of former president Jacob Zuma blockaded roads and burned trucks, demanding his release.

Many laid the blame at Manyi's door, alleging the unrest is “what he wanted”. Others asked him to release a statement condemning the violence in Zuma's name. 

Speaking to TimesLIVE, Manyi claimed Ramaphosa “has long failed to lead SA” and demanded the president and his executive resign.

“On TV footage I saw poor people scrambling for food and a heartbreaking old lady trying to get medication. I also saw what looked like private citizens and police shooting at unarmed poor people.

“The looting of state resources by the elite during this pandemic has set a very bad example. The disappearance of R500bn in three months with no-one held accountable is of great concern to the people of SA.

“President Ramaphosa and his executive must resign and allow new leadership to come in and grow the economy so that jobs can be created to avoid looting.”

He said the army should not have been deployed.

“I reject that approach because soldiers are trained to kill rather than to arrest offenders. The country is still grieving the death of a bread winner, Collins Khosa of Alexandra township, who was murdered by members of the SANDF.”

Manyi slammed Ramaphosa's claim of ethnic mobilisation, warning it could spark further violence.

“For lasting peace in SA we must deal with the problems holistically. The righteous anger of the people can be nipped in the bud by observing the constitution,” he added.

Here are some of the social media reactions to his comments:

TimesLIVE reported on Monday that ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte said the party was aware of a few “strong men” who are instigators of violence in KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng and Mpumalanga.

“It is a few people [who are behind this]. It starts in KwaZulu-Natal. In Gauteng it is one subregion, in Soweto, with one person who is very vocal and very strong. In Mpumalanga, similarly.