Faith Muthambi labels Phumla Williams a shameful manipulator and liar

Faith Muthambi. File photo.
Faith Muthambi. File photo.
Image: Siyabulela Duda

Former communications minister Faith Muthambi has hit back at testimony given by acting government spokesperson Phumla Williams to the commission of inquiry investigating state capture‚ calling her a “shameful manipulator” and a “liar”.

She further accused Williams of having an “almost psychotic hatred” for her.

In a statement released on Tuesday‚ Muthambi said Williams' testimony was a “personal‚ inappropriate and unjustified” attack on her.

The commission heard on Monday how Muthambi wanted to “steal at all costs” by stripping Williams of her powers.

“Because of the intimate knowledge that I have of the management of GCIS‚ I could not but respond with shock‚ (but also a degree of dejavu and familiarity) because I have experienced her modus operandi over years. Phumla Williams is one of the most shameful manipulators and liars that I have ever had the displeasure to encounter‚” Muthambi said in the statement.

Williams broke down during her testimony before the commission when she relived her harrowing account of how Muthambi‚ as communication minister‚ stripped her of her powers and "tortured” her.

“The effects of my torture were back. I was no longer sleeping. I had nightmares. My facial twitches were back. I had panic attacks‚” Williams told the commission.

Muthambi‚ who is an ANC MP and member of the party’s national executive committee‚ did not take kindly to Williams’ remarks accusing her of being “emotionally unhinged”.

“Her emotional self-serving outburst‚ and entirely inappropriate attempt to refer to ordinary managerial and management processes as similar to torture‚ and her experiences in detention‚ is so deliberately emotionally manipulative‚ that it would have been laughable if her intentions in doing so were not so blatantly malicious and informed by an irrational (almost psychotic) hatred for me‚” she said.

Muthambi said she was now seeking legal advice on what she called half truths and blatant lies Williams’ told the commission.

“A very different truth will emerge‚ and her lies and reactionary agenda will be finally exposed for all to see‚” she said.

After her testimony on Monday‚ Williams said she hoped former president Jacob Zuma would address the allegations against him and explain why he protected Muthambi.

She told the commission that she complained to Zuma about Muthambi but he did nothing.

“What is most painful is that (then) president Zuma knows what I went through. He knows exactly my pain of torture‚ so I don’t understand why he would actually keep quiet and not intervene‚” Williams told the media.

Muthambi was reshuffled as communications minister last year and was removed as a minister by President Cyril Ramaphosa when he assumed office earlier this year.

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