March 9, 2011 By Gaye Davis
Opposition MPs have flayed the ANC for defending government spokesman Jimmy Manyi, with the DA claiming it showed the ruling party had abandoned non-racialism and was “split down the middle”.
“The ANC is splintering. Every policy decision is contested, every province is factionalised and every member identified by the camp to which they belong,” said DA federal chairman Wilmot James.
“At the heart of the ruling party there is one fundamental fracture: non-racialism. Every ANC member will now have to decide: where do they stand on Jimmy Manyi?”
His party colleague, Sandy Kalyan, said the fact that Manyi remained in his post was “an embarrassment to this country and an insult to those people he’s been disrespectful to”.
“One wonders whether he was talking about cattle or human beings,” Kalyan said.
Cope president Mosiuoa Lekota said the government “seems to be leaning ever more towards the social engineering we thought we had killed in 1994”.
“Any form of social engineering is anathema and will only reverse the gains made so far,” Lekota said.
The IFP’s Dr Usha Roopnarains said Manyi’s comments displayed “a frightening brand of arrogance and downright racism” and said he should be fired.
Freedom Front Plus spokesman on labour, Anton Alberts, said public pressure needed “to be kept up until he resigns from his position”.
“Manyi’s vendetta against minorities in South Africa makes him incompetent to hold a position at the public service because he is unwilling to serve the South African public without any prejudice.”
His party has asked the Public Service Commission to investigate Manyi’s appointment, as the law does not allow state employees to hold additional posts and receive payment for doing so.
Alberts claimed the FF+ had found that Manyi was not only president of the Black Management Forum but also headed its investment arm, was president of the confederation of Black Business Organisations, and a non-executive director of various companies and boards, including IBM South Africa and Meegbank Holdings. Manyi recently handed over his BMF presidential responsibilities to his deputy, in order to focus on his government job.
Minority trade union Solidarity said it would be coming to Parliament on Wednesday to demand that proposed changes to the Employment Equity Act be withdrawn.
At issue are criteria for judging whether employers are compliant with the act, which aims at correcting inequalities by applying affirmative action. While the government has insisted the changes are aimed at giving employers more flexibility in hiring, critics maintain their effect will see companies having to apply national demographics. With local government elections looming on May 18, the issue has provided grist to electioneering mills. - Political Bureau
Posted on www.iol.co.za