Jimmy Manyi hosts TKAG CEO on fracking

Mr. Jimmy Manyi, grilled TKAG CEO Jonathan Deal in a probing interview this week. The interview will air on September 14th, Saturday at 15h30. True to form, Mr. Manyi gave effect to the show’s strapline : ‘Straight Talk, the show where ‘no comment’ is not an option.


Jimmy Manyi: Gupta TV’s Oprah



Former government spokesperson Jimmy Manyi has traded in the whirligig of state spin for an anchored spot on ANN7.

Jimmy Manyi returns to South African TV screens as an anchor for new channel ANN7.(Delwyn Verasamy)

The owners of Africa News Network 7 (ANN7) or “Gupta TV”, clearly have a lot of faith in former government spin doctor, Jimmy Manyi.

Not only did they headhunt him to anchor their weekly interview show, Straight Talk, they’re also putting him up against the likes of Chiefs, Pirates, the Boks, the Williams sisters and Tiger Woods.

The show is scheduled to go out every Saturday afternoon at 3.30pm on DStv channel 405 — when other channels have their premier sport offerings.

ANN7, an initiative of Infinity Media — a joint venture between India’s Essel Media and Oakbay Investments, which is owned by the influential and controversial Gupta family — was launched at a glitzy gala dinner at the Sandton Convention Centre on August 22.

Grand event
The event featured performances by Zulu dancers, singer Zahara and new rapper on the block Kwesta — whose spirited performance seemed slightly incongruent to the grand and formal setting of the launch venue.

South Africa’s new communications minister, Yunus Carrim, delivered the keynote speech and launched the channel with ANN7 editor in chief, Moegsien Williams.

Other guests included former minister in the presidency and current editor of The Thinker magazine, Essop Pahad; ANC spokesperson Jackson Mthembu; and the Indian high commissioner, Virendra Gupta.

No sensationalism
Manyi, looking dapper in a tailored black suit, worked the room at the ANN7 launch, and spoke candidly to the Mail & Guardian about his new career.

“I was headhunted,” he says matter-of-factly.

“They were looking for someone fresh and bold who is able to deal with different and difficult issues.”

He adds that the show’s name is modelled on his character.

“You get it how it is. With me it’s black or white, right or wrong. I’m genuine; when I smile I’m sincere and not buying face.”

And don’t expect sensationalism on his show, warns Manyi, who says Straight Talk will draw from Oprah Winfrey and Larry King’s styles.

“I’ve never seen them [Oprah and King] covering the superficial and sensational side. They get to the substance of the issue and that’s what I aim to do. There are enough shows on the market for those who want sensationalism,” Manyi says.

Some may argue that Manyi was “headhunted” purely because he is such a controversial figure.

The 49-year-old ruffled some feathers last year when he told motorists e-tolls in Gauteng are a reality.

“It’s a fact of life and it’s going to happen,” he said.

But Manyi was more notoriously known for a statement he made during his tenure as director general of labour in 2010 — about there being an oversupply of coloured people in the Western Cape.

In response to a question pertaining to his controversial statement and life thereafter, Manyi said: “If such a honourable man such as Jesus Christ, who brought good news and salvation, was harmed very viciously on the cross, who am I?

“I apologised because people got hurt by that statement. However, I was grossly misrepresented and I must voice my disappointment towards academics and analysts who formed their opinions on a 30-second clip and didn’t bother to take the time to listen to the whole clip.

“I lost all respect for these so-called experts and their inability to make an informed decision shows the shallowness we have in this country.”


Saga of SHELL pollution in AFRICA continues

Edition: U.S.

Shell Niger Delta Oil Spill: Company To Negotiate Compensation And Cleanup With Nigerians


Shell Niger Delta Oil Spill

Creeks and vegetation devastated as a result of spills from oil thieves and Shell operational failures in Niger Delta on March 22, 2013. AFP PHOTO / PIUS UTOMI EKPEI

LAGOS, Nigeria — Shell officials on Monday began talks in Nigeria’s southern city of Port Harcourt with representatives for the Bodo community on compensation and cleanup five years after one of the worst oil spills in Nigeria’s history.

Some experts say two oil spills that started in 2008 led to the largest loss of a mangrove habitat ever caused by an oil spill, affecting about 30,000 people in the Niger Delta area since then, according to London-based law firm Leigh Day.

“These people, since 2008 they are living on a creek of oil. You step out of the front door you see oil, breathe in oil and toxic fumes,” said lawyer Daniel Leader of Leigh Day, an international and human rights firm that is representing about 15,000 people from the community that filed a lawsuit in 2012.

Although Royal Dutch Shell has admitted responsibility for the two spills, the impact has been disputed and will be the main focus of negotiations in Port Harcourt.

Royal Dutch Shell said a joint investigation team estimated 4,100 barrels were lost in the two spills. That estimate is based on the initial investigations by representatives from the company and the local community, spokesman Jonathan French told The Associated Press.

“Having said all that, it doesn’t matter how much was spilled because the compensation will be based on the financial loss that people have suffered because of the spill in the lagoon,” he said. “And that is a matter of dispute between us and the claimant.”

Leigh Day said that 15,000 fishermen and 31,000 inhabitants of 35 villages were affected in and around the Bodo lagoon and its associated waterways. The law firm says independent experts estimate between 500,000 and 600,000 barrels were spilled, devastating the environment that sits amid 90 square kilometers (35 square miles) of mangroves, swamps and channels.

“The majority of its inhabitants are subsistence fishermen and farmers. Until the two 2008 spills Bodo was a relatively prosperous town based on fishing,” the firm said in a statement. The spills have destroyed the fishing industry and environment there, it said.

“Those communities are still having water shipped into them. But it’s patchy, and we fear many of those communities are drinking from poisoned wells,” Leader, the Leigh Day lawyer, said.

Shell SA Chairman says shale gas development in the US was done with ‘utmost respect to the environment’

Watch this Youtube clip of Mr. Bonang Mohale’s opinion on how shale gas development has taken place in the US – from an environmental perspective. “… the US developed shale gas as a resource with utmost respect to the environment’ – Is it any wonder that Shell SA can tell South Africa “Shell will leave the Karoo better than we found it?”