The African National Congress (ANC) in Gauteng has referred the province’s Sports and Recreation MEC Faith Mazibuko to its provincial integrity commission following the release of an audio clip in which she is heard threatening staffers with dismissal as she pressures them to deliver sporting facilities known as "combi courts" before the 2019 national elections.
She is also heard saying some of the province’s departments did not want to work with white or Indian people.
The recording, which was published by amaBhungane on Wednesday, features a furious-sounding Mazibuko demanding that planned "combi courts," which allow for a variety of sporting codes to be played on them, would help bring the ANC votes in the May 8 polls.
"We want to use it to campaign and win elections," the MEC is heard saying.
The ANC in the province has expressed shock, with its provincial secretary Jacob Khawe telling News24 he’s already spoken to Mazibuko.
"We have already called her to explain her utterances. We find them unfortunate, irresponsible and embarrassing," said Khawe.
During her tirade, Mazibuko chastises two senior staffers – believed to be an Indian woman and a white woman – for speaking back at her.
"That’s why some departments, they don’t want to see a white woman or any Indian woman! It’s not about racism, it’s because you like talking English!"
Khawe told News24 a decision had already been taken and communicated with the MEC, informing her that she must appear before the party’s provincial integrity commission.
The provincial secretary said while there was no excuse for Mazibuko’s behaviour the ANC in Gauteng wanted to understand the circumstances that led to her tirade.
"We at all times stand against those who perpetuate racism in our country; we find her statement befitting of those who do that," said Khawe.
He also said the ANC wanted to apologise to Gauteng residents, whites and Indians in particular, explaining that the party believed Mazibuko knew her actions were in the wrong.
Mazibuko has since apologised, saying that "at no stage did I give unlawful instructions to senior managers in the department".