MEC for Education and ANC provincial Deputy Chairperson Panyaza Lesufi said what Mazibuko said to staffers was ”unfortunate.”
”It does not represent government’s stance on how to treat public servants. We believe it is regrettable, the Premier has indicated he will hold a meeting with her. I believe the Premier will able to resolve this before end of business today,” said Lesufi, speaking in Soweto ahead of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s arrival to campaign on Thursday.
In the recording that has since gone viral on social media, Mazibuko is heard ranting about service delivery ahead of the May general elections. An angry Mazibuko can be heard shouting at managers to make sure sports facilities, referred to as combi courts, are constructed in specified communities as soon as possible, ignoring legal and tender processes.
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Two women in the meeting are heard pleading with her that the sports facilities could be constructed as long as all was done according to the law, but Mazibuko was having none of it. She demanded that the facilities be constructed because she ”wants to use them to campaign to win elections”.
DA member of the Gauteng legislature Solly Msimang said his party will approach the Independent Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) to investigate possible abuse of public funds for party political purposes.
The leaked recording was proof that Mazibuko’s department does not adhere to tender processes, said Msimang.
”The goal is to win votes at all costs. MEC Mazibuko lacks the skills and competencies required to lead this department. She is rude to her staff members and there is an element of racial and gender discrimination which goes against government’s policies. Such treatment of employees goes against the Employment Act.”
The recording has drawn mixed reactions on social media, with some condemning Mazibuko’s ranting to staffers, while others rallied around her. Those who support Mazibuko say she was under siege from non-performing civil servants and had to ”put her foot down” in the meeting.
Meanwhile, her department defended Mazibuko on Thursday, saying that the MEC denies allegations of interference in administrative matters. The department is investigating the source of the leak to the Mail & Guardian‘s AmaBhungane investigative unit.
Amabhungane journalist Micah Reddy told Radio 702 that the State Security intelligence agency had been brought in at Mazibuko’s department to investigate the source of the leak.
– African News Agency