David Makhura to meet Faith Mazibuko about her racist and unacceptable 'combi courts' rant

15 March 2019 - 14:48 By Naledi Shange
Gauteng MEC for sports, arts, culture and recreation Faith Mazibuko is expected to meet with Gauteng premier David Makhura.
Gauteng MEC for sports, arts, culture and recreation Faith Mazibuko is expected to meet with Gauteng premier David Makhura.
Image: Gallo Images / Frennie Shivambu

Gauteng premier David Makhura was on Friday expected to meet sports, arts, culture and recreation MEC Faith Mazibuko, her HoD and her CFO about her tirade against them at a meeting.

In a statement released ahead of the meeting, Makhura criticised Mazibuko for her conduct, which he deemed unacceptable.

"The utterances of the MEC [Mazibuko] towards the head of department and chief financial officer are totally unacceptable and inconsistent with what I expect from MECs," said Makhura.

"I would like to make the following principles categorically clear:

"First, racism and sexism have no place in our society and will therefore not be tolerated in our administration. Second, we are determined to ensure that service delivery targets are met and budgets are spent in line with the annual performance plans - underspending is unacceptable.

"Third, we are uncompromising on the need for officials to follow the law and procurement procedures in line with our stated commitment to clean administration," Makhura said.

A leaked recording of the controversial meeting, initially reported on by AmaBhungane, revealed it was about the delivery of sports facilities known as "combi courts".

In the video, Mazibuko's CFO and HoD tried to explain why the facilities could not be delivered ahead of the May 8 elections but she refused to accept their reasons, saying they should pull out all the stops to ensure it was done. 

She lashed out, saying a reason why other departments chose not to employ Indian and white people was because they liked to speak English.

"Which other department has an Indian that is a CFO? Which other one? You are the second one … A woman. You must thank your lucky stars! Which other department has an HOD which is a umlungu [white person]? Ayikho [there is none], including national. So you must thank me for empowering you, so don't sabotage me … You must never! You better do your work or get out," said Mazibuko in the recording.

Mazibuko apologised for her behaviour on Thursday.

"After deep personal reflections, I want to unreservedly apologise for the tone and improper language I used towards my head of department (HoD) and chief financial officer (CFO)," she said in a statement.

Makhura said the apology came after he had met with the MEC and reprimanded her about her behaviour. He said the ANC had since referred the incident to its integrity committee, a move he said was important.

Makhura said while he had made it clear to MECs that they should not compromise on projects agreed upon, he still wanted them to act within the prescripts of the law.

"I have further encouraged managers to stand their ground and refuse to carry out any unlawful or unethical instructions.

"As the premier, I dismiss with contempt any suggestion that we are fast-tracking delivery of long planned projects or putting in place new plans for purposes of winning elections. All our plans are in our annual performance plans (APPs) submitted to the legislature annually," he said.