Former Zuma Aide Vincent Magwenya Appointed As Cyril Ramaphosa’s New Spokesperson.. President Cyril Ramaphosa has appointed one of former president Jacob Zuma’s spokespersons as his new spokesperson.
The Presidency announced on Tuesday that Ramaphosa had appointed Vincent Magwenya with effect from 1 June.
“Mr Magwenya is a seasoned communicator with extensive experience in government communication, public relations, stakeholder management and broadcasting,” reads the Presidency’s statement.
He served as spokesperson to former president Jacob Zuma from 2009 to 2010. At the time of his resignation in July 2010, it was reported that he had apparently fallen victim to infighting in the president’s office. He allegedly became increasingly uncomfortable with the way in which ANC officials controlled access to the president.
Apparently, Magwenya clashed with Zizi Kodwa, a special presidential advisor at the time, and Lakela Kaunda, head of Zuma’s private office.
Kodwa is currently a deputy minister in the Presidency, responsible for state security. He is also implicated in the Zondo Commission’s reports on state capture.
Magwenya was CEO of PR agency Magna Carta between 2013 and 2016, before establishing Conversations Media and Communications, where he has also served as CEO, according to the statement.
Magwenya also served as Director of Communications for Standard Bank Africa and Director of Group Stakeholder Relations Management for Standard Bank Group.
He started his career as a broadcast journalist in various technical and editorial roles and worked for international and local broadcasters such as Reuters Television, Worldwide Television News (now known as Associated Press Television News), the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, and the South African Broadcasting Corporation.
According to the statement, Ramaphosa said:
I am pleased to welcome Vincent Magwenya to the Presidency team. His experience, insight and capabilities will strengthen our efforts to effectively communicate the work of the Presidency as we undertake the work of recovery and rebuilding.
“I wish to express my gratitude to Tyrone Seale for having acted in the position of spokesperson to the President since July 2020. His capable manner and dedication to the task has been widely acknowledged and is much appreciated.”
Seale acted in the position after Ramaphosa’s former spokesperson Khusela Diko went on “special leave” in June 2020 following a PPE corruption scandal involving her late husband, amaBhaca chief Thandisizwe Diko. He allegedly secured an irregular Covid-19 PPE tender from the Gauteng health department to the tune of R125 million. The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) found that the tender was irregular and unlawful.
In August 2021, a disciplinary process into her failure to disclose her financial interests in companies, as required by public service regulations, was completed.
Diko was served with a written warning for this offence and her suspension was reversed.
However, she did not resume her duties as Ramaphosa’s spokesperson, but moved to “a different position in the public service”.