Former government spokesperson and long-standing member of the ANC, Mzwanele Manyi, has refuted suggestions that he’s disgruntled after failing to make it to the party’s National Executive Committee.

Manyi on Wednesday told the media in Johannesburg that he had joined the African Transformation Movement (ATM) headed by Vuyo Zunkula.

Last year, he told the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture that Manyi told the inquiry that there was no evidence that the fugitive Gupta family and their associates were implicated in state capture.

Manyi says he has never been interested in being an ANC NEC member because he is a professional.

He says, “I’m not a career politician. I have always been a professional, so I’ve always had my own means of survival. I have never been a beneficiary of any patronage of sorts. Branches make recommendations, I never even followed up. There is not one regional secretary of the ANC that can say I even lobbied for this thing but when branches make submissions, it’s not me lobbying, it’s branches. This thing didn’t go anywhere and I did nothing to make it happen.”

Manyi also explains why the ATM is calling for the return of the death penalty.

He says, “We know that the constitution does not allow it but we’ll change the constitution. It cannot be that the rights are respected more than the rights of those that are being killed. Innocent people get killed everyday. We’re sitting here with all the thugs in this country. Our people, women and children, are unsafe in this country because thugs are protected. People will tell you no, life to life. What about the lives of the innocent people, so we want to bring that back.”