National Press Club chairman, Yusuf Abramjee, is still motivating for government spokesperson, Jimmy Manyi, to face the press and explain himself over his (allegedly) racist comments made about Coloured and Indian South Africans.
“If he thinks this is going to go away quietly, he better think again,” Abramjee told TheMediaOnline today. “The National Press Club is standing by its call for him to face the press. The ball is in his court now.”
Abramjee said the Press Club did not accept Manyi’s response to its invitation in which he said: “: “The President has called for restraint. I have to respect that, sorry.”
“First, he hides behind Vusi Mona, using him to issue a statement. Now he uses the president,” Abramjee said. “The reality is he has become the story and there’s no use hiding. The more he keeps quiet, the louder the noise will become.”
Abramjee said the media enjoyed a good relationship with the Government Communication and Information Systems (GCIS) department but that should its head, Jimmy Manyi, refuse to face the media’s questions of the race row he initiated, then the media “would have to take another look at that relationship”.
“I spoke to two cabinet ministers last week, and both said, in their personal capacities, that the best thing Manyi can do is to apologise to South Africa and all its people for his comments,” Abramjee added.
As many commentators have pointed, when a spokesman becomes the story, it becomes a problem. “A good communicator is someone who does not keep quiet or who avoids questions,” Abramjee said in a statement on Friday [March 5]. “The right thing for Manyi to do is to face the media and say what he wants to say. This matter continues to dominate the news and his silence is not a good reflection on himself nor on government.”
In that statement, Manyi was quoted as saying ‘Apologies, unable to shake off my other previous engagements. Tomorrow (Saturday) I have a BMF board meeting the whole day. Please let me know a bit earlier next time.’ ”
Abramjee then asked if he would be available on Sunday or Monday, only to be fobbed off yesterday with the excuse that “the President has called for restraint. I have to respect that, sorry”.
Abramjee said that it was convenient for Manyi “to hide behind the president when it suits him” and reiterated that the story would “not be going away quietly, as Manyi hoped”.
In fact, Twitter has remained extremely noisy over the Manyi race row affair. Searches using #Manyi and #race have revealed that the twittering classes are most assuredly talking about the issues raised by Manyi’s ill advised comments.
Jane_Anne62 Jane-Anne Hobbs
Ngobeni, on Manuel’s comparison of #Manyi to Verwoerd: “beyond the mischievous & emblematic of a megalomaniac mind” ahttp://bit.ly/enLrAK
clivesimpkins Clive Simpkins
MarketBrandSA Theo Sauls
Edmond_Shongwe Bongane Shongwe
AkanyangM Akanyang Merementsi
timesSAguardian timesSAguardian News
AkanyangM Akanyang Merementsi
Zoddies zodwa kumalo