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Vincent Magwenya takes over as Ramaphosa’s new spokesperson

31 May 2022 - 11:19
Vincent Magwenya is the new spokesperson for the presidency.
Vincent Magwenya is the new spokesperson for the presidency.
Image: Supplied

Seasoned communicator Vincent Magwenya is set to return to the Union Buildings in Pretoria as the new spokesperson for President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Well-placed officials in government who TimesLIVE spoke to on Tuesday said Ramaphosa has resolved to bring in Magwenya to fill in the presidency spokesperson position that has been vacant for almost two years.  

Ramaphosa’s office confirmed Magwenya's appointment just hours after it was reported by TimesLIVE.

“I am pleased to welcome Vincent Magwenya to the presidency team. His experience, insight and capabilities will strengthen our efforts to effectively communicate the work of the presidency as we undertake the work of recovery and rebuilding.

“I wish to express my gratitude to Tyrone Seale for having acted in the position of spokesperson to the president since July 2020. His capable manner and dedication to the task has been widely acknowledged and is much appreciated,” Ramaphosa said in a statement.

Magwenya has been appointed with effect from June 1 2022.

He comes in to replace Khusela Diko who was removed as spokesperson after controversy involving her late husband’s involvement in companies that benefited from PPE procurement by the Gauteng department of health.

Though an investigation didn’t find her guilty of wrongdoing with regard to PPE procurement, she was nonetheless found to have failed to disclose her interests in other entities.  

Diko was served with a written warning and her suspension was later overturned.

The presidency at the time said though she had been cleared of any wrongdoing she would not return to her job.

The president has not had a permanent spokesperson since Diko’s departure, with Seale appointed on an acting basis.

Magwenya assumes the role at a critical time in government. Ramaphosa has moved to strengthen his office, placing critical elements of governance, including the State Security Agency, under the presidency.

Magwenya was former president Jacob Zuma’s first spokesperson upon assuming office in 2009, but later resigned, with those close to him at the time citing frustration at being left out of the loop on key developments in that office.

He has also held several senior positions in the private sector,  including serving as CEO of public relations firm Magna Carta.

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