Fire sports MEC Faith Mazibuko: Ahmed Kathrada Foundation
The Ahmed Kathrada Foundation has called for Gauteng sports, arts, culture and recreation MEC Faith Mazibuko to be fired.
This after an audio clip of a meeting between Mazibuko and senior staff members was leaked, where the MEC lambastes her head of department and chief financial officer for stating why multi-sport facilities – known as "combi courts" – could not be rushed through and built before the May 8 election.
In the audio, the MEC says that the projects must be fast-tracked to garner support for the ANC ahead of the polls.
Mazibuko – who has since apologised for her conduct in the meeting – also makes racially charged comments aimed at senior female staffers, who are white and Indian.
The Kathrada Foundation called on Gauteng premier David Makhura "to consider dismissing" Mazibuko.
The foundation's executive director, Neeshan Balton, said that the attitude shown by Mazibuko was "precisely" the same that "led to the Life Esidimeni tragedy, where public officials were put under pressure by their political heads, resulting in improper and unethical decision-making".
"We've seen the disastrous consequences of this tragedy, yet it seems that MEC Mazibuko still thinks that it's okay to bully officials into bypassing proper procedures.
"Similarly, our country's experience of state capture over the past few years has demonstrated what can go wrong when public servants do not stand up to political pressure, or processes which are unlawful or irregular," said Balton.
He also questioned the motive behind pushing through the building of the combi courts.
"That the MEC, whose duty it is to provide services to the public, appears to want to use this project for party political gains just before the elections is grossly irregular and is possibly a violation of the electoral code of conduct," he said.
"Based on the evidence presented in the [audio] clip, we will be formally writing to the Public Service Commission, the SA Human Rights Commission and the premier [Makhura], calling on them to act on this matter.
"Mazibuko's half-hearted apology for her 'tone' will do little to allay public concerns that she placed undue pressure on her officials," said Balton.