Political spin doctors, Onkgopotse JJ Tabane and Chris Vick, recently had it out after Vick aired Tabane’s dirty laundry following his reaction to Phumla Williams’ testimony at the State Capture Inquiry Commission on Monday.
Many were in shock about the alleged treatment Williams said she faced at the hands of her former boss, Faith Muthambi, and like Tabane, they took to social media to express this. Tabane tweeted: “Faith Muthambi… this is a horror story.”
Tabane’s commentary was short-lived as he soon had to go on the offensive to deny allegations made by fellow spin doctor, Chris Vick, who tweeted: “but you used to work for #faithmuthambi when she was communications minister, bro. Didn’t you set up that huge advisory panel for her (the one I resigned from) and write those ridiculous opinion pieces in her name? Weren’t you advising her? #StateCaptureInquiry @Powerfm987”
Various Twitter users who were party to the exchange, including Gauteng MEC for education, Panyaza Lesufi, pressed Tabane for an answer.
Tabane responded: “Panyaza, I can’t entertain grandstanding by Chris. In 2014 I was part of a panel with many professionals who advised the ministry on how to improve government communications. A full report on this was given to Muthambi and two of her successors. Nothing nefarious about that.”
The exchange was then covered by the Sowetan, prompting Power FM to invite both parties on to Thabiso Tema’s show on Tuesday to clear the air.
Vick explained: “The reason I did it, TT, you know, when I saw JJ express his fake horror at Faith Muthambi, for me it was a bit like Lakela Kaunda expressing fake horror at Jacob Zuma. I mean JJ was central in Faith Muthambi’s communications machine from mid-2014 probably about until mid-2015.”
In response to Vick’s claims, Tabane explained that he ran a communication business and was approached by Muthambi shortly after she was appointed minister to help her “integrate all these things that were going to report to her”.
Tabane added that he appointed a large task team, which Vick was a part of.
“I’ve got lots of clients like Chris has who we advise on various communication things. One of the conditions of working for those clients is not that I can’t express dissatisfaction with some or other aspects of their life or operation in society,” said Tabane.
Tabane has since shared the opinions of listeners who tuned in and sided with him but he has said little else about the matter. Read the entire exchange below: