WATCH: Mzwanele Manyi announces why he has joined the ATM

Mzwanele Manyi speaks at the commission of inquiry into state capture held in Johannesburg, 26 November 2018. Picture: Refilwe Modise

Mzwanele Manyi speaks at the commission of inquiry into state capture held in Johannesburg, 26 November 2018. Picture: Refilwe Modise

The former government spin doctor announced he was leaving the ANC over the weekend.

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.

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.

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.

The party’s president first president is Vuyolwethu Zungula.

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.

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