Granted, Manyi’s academic qualifications and work experience speak volumes. But the GuptaTV presenter has courted controversy all of his adult life. His appointment to the agency is certain to jeopardise the independence of the entity in particular, and the media in general.
The MDDA Act clearly states that “a person is disqualified from board membership if he has, as a result of improper conduct, been removed from an office of trust”. In 2010 Manyi was suspended from his position as director-general in the department of labour without explanation.
The Act also says members of the board must be persons who are “committed to fairness, freedom of expression, openness and accountability”. In 2011 Manyi, then CEO of the Government Communication and Information Services, threatened to withdraw advertising revenue from print and electronic media that did not toe the line in their coverage of the government.
Surely, Manyi is bad news for the diversification and the development of our media.