JOHANNESBURG - Gauteng Sports MEC Faith Mazibuko on Thursday apologised to two senior department officials after her meltdown during a staff meeting that was recorded and has since gone viral.
Mazibuko said that after ''deep personal reflections'' she unreservedly apologises for the tone and improper language she used towards her HOD (head of department) and the chief financial officer (CFO) during a heated executive staff meeting.
"I'm a firm believer of women empowerment, irrespective of race and sexual orientation, because women under apartheid suffered what we came to understand as triple oppression. I will continue to work hard to build a non-racial and non-sexist society. These are the ideals I will continue to champion and uphold, whether in government or elsewhere as an ordinary member of society,'' she said in a statement.
''I humble myself and apologise to Premier David Makhura and my colleagues in the provincial cabinet for the harm caused. I am willing to subject myself to whatever appropriate sanction to be imposed on me by Premier Makhura and my organisation, the ANC.''
Her meltdown was recorded in an audio clip leaked to media. A furious Mazibuko is heard ranting about service delivery ahead of the May general elections.
She screamed at managers, telling them to make sure sports facilities, referred to as combi courts, are constructed in specified communities as soon as possible, ignoring legal and tender processes.
Two women in the meeting, the CFO and the HOD, 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".
The recording has drawn mixed reactions on social media, with some condemning Mazibuko's rant dirrected at 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.
Earlier, her department defended Mazibuko, 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, who wrote the story, told Radio 702 that the state intelligence agency had been brought in at Mazibuko's department to investigate the source of the leak.
African News Agency (ANA)