Gauteng sport, arts, culture and recreation MEC Faith Mazibuko. Picture: GALLO IMAGES/FRENNIE SHIVAMBU
Gauteng sport, arts, culture and recreation MEC Faith Mazibuko. Picture: GALLO IMAGES/FRENNIE SHIVAMBU

The SA Human Rights Commission (HRC) has called Gauteng MEC for sport, arts, culture and recreation Faith Mazibuko to appear before it on Tuesday, to clarify comments she made in a “rant” that was leaked to the public in an audio recording.

The commission said it became aware, through various social media platforms, of the widely circulated recording of a meeting held by Mazibuko in which she lambasted senior managers for failing to deliver sports facilities known as “combi courts”, purportedly to bolster support for the ANC ahead of the elections on May 8.

“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 a head of department which is an 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.

“That is why some departments they don't want to see a white woman or any Indian woman. Ababafuni [They don't want them]. It's not about racism. It's because you like talking English and we want work thina‚” she said‚ refusing to hear their explanations.

The two people she criticised were an Indian and a white woman. They had been in a confidential meeting with Mazibuko at the time. 

The commission said upon assessment of the statements, it was of the view that her comments contravened a number of rights listed in the bill of rights.

“Following this, the commission initiated an own accord investigation and consolidated all complaints received from members of the public into one, and proceeded to assess this matter.”

The commission wants Mazibuko to appear before it to fully assess the matter and “clarify” remarks attributed to her in the audio recording.

Following the leaked audio recording, Mazibuko issued a public apology to her head of department and chief financial officer.

“I, Faith Mazibuko … profusely apologise to the people of Gauteng as a result of the widely circulated audio recording of myself concerning a meeting I held with senior managers, on February 15 2019,” she said in a statement.

“After deep personal reflections, I want to unreservedly apologise for the tone and improper language I used towards my head of department and CFO,” she added.