Former government spin-doctor, Black Management Forum president and post-Gupta owner of ANN7 and The New Age Mzwanele Manyi has explained that he’s joined new political party the African Transformation Movement (ATM), leaving the ANC.
Mzwanele Manyi announces that he is joining the African Transformation Movement (ATM) – which was formed by the SA Council of Messianic Churches in Christ (SACMCC). pic.twitter.com/Da6vpMns0n
— Kaffrarian (@LoyisoSidimba) January 9, 2019
You can watch his announcement below, courtesy of the SABC:
The ATM is strongly associated with a number of local churches, which together have millions of followers.
The party was able to draw a significant crowds at its gatherings. They dress mainly in white.
The @ATMovement_SA that you have not seen in media, its humble Servants paying for everything themselves including branding material. Siyaya phambili, Patha @VuyoZungulaSA phatha! To those still looking for political homes. ATM likhaya. Peace in our land! Peace in our lifetime! pic.twitter.com/eynGdflChV
— Nyaniso Jeku (@nyanisoj) January 7, 2019
Thank you SA for giving us an opportunity to interact with you
Thank you for trusting us
— African Transformation Movement (@ATMovement_SA) December 3, 2018
Last year, the ATM made headlines when it was reported that the party was lobbying former president Jacob Zuma to join them as its president.
ANC insiders and close associates of Zuma told The Citizen that Zuma was approached but wanted no part in it.
Caesar Nongqunga, the president of the Twelve Apostles Church in Christ, formed the ATM last year in the wake of Zuma being recalled by the ANC as the president of the republic.
Manyi says the last straw with the ANC was 2018. "It was the most disastrous year for transformation in SA. The SOE's are becoming a slaughter house for black executives under the guise of cleaning up." #ATM @eNCA
— Govan Whittles (@van1go) January 9, 2019
The party’s president first president is Vuyolwethu Zungula.
— Juniour Khumalo (@JKwritingz) January 9, 2019
ANC MPL Bishop Vusi Dube, who coordinated a march in defence of Zuma prior to his high court appearance in Durban last year, was also central to a national campaign last year to support Zuma. Dube, who founded the eThekwini Community Church, is a leader of the National Interfaith Council of South Africa and is closely associated with the ATM project.
However, the party has struggled to gain prominence in the national consciousness outside of the ranks of primarily the churches and congregants supporting it, and Manyi is now the most prominent and recognisable name to join the party since his own fortunes waned last year in the wake of The New Age shutting its doors and MultiChoice not renewing ANN7’s contract despite him renaming the titles AfroVoice and Afro Worldview.
The newspaper was always controversial, pushing a pro-ANC agenda favourable to Zuma and relying primarily on government advertising and sponsorship to survive. Since Cyril Ramaphosa took over as president from Zuma, the survival of the paper had always been in doubt.
Manyi took over the Gupta-owned 24-hour news channel ANN7 through the same “vendor-financed deal” for a reported R450 million, which he then rebranded Afro Worldview.
He made only cosmetic changes to both brands. At Wednesday’s press conference he expressed huge disappointment at the fact that the ANC had allowed about 500 jobs to be lost by saying nothing about the titles shutting down.
— Bongani Chuma (@3DCommentator) January 9, 2019