Manyi struggles to explain why 'TNA' earned more govt revenue than other papers

Former GCIS head Mzwanele Manyi told the state capture commission that 'The New Age' newspaper received 4.5% of government spending but things got heated when he was asked about how much it received in its first year.

A video screengrab of Mzwanele Manyi appearing at the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into state capture on 26 November 2018.

JOHANNESBURG – Former GCIS head Mzwanele Manyi has struggled to explain why under his tenure at the GCIS the then Gupta-owned The New Age newspaper received more government revenue than most daily newspapers.

Manyi appeared before the state capture commission on Monday and is expected to conclude his testimony on Tuesday morning.

He told the commission that the newspaper received 4.5% of government spending but things got heated when he was asked about how much TNA received in its first year.

The commission’s Advocate Vincent Maleka pointed out that daily newspapers that had been in business for a long time received less than R200,000 per annum between 2011 and 2012.

He asked why the Gupta family's newspaper in its first year of business earned more than R8.5 million.

“So TNA was new, people who were having the first embracement of ‘wow, for a change now here’s a publication that is not going to be riddled with all kinds of factual inaccuracies.’”

Manyi then said it was all about supporting alternative media.

“Government has always been very serious about transformation.”

Then he told the commission he actually wasn’t personally involved in deciding on how much is spent on which newspapers, saying he was in charge of the entire GCIS.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)