Pretoria – One of the women, Monica Newton, accused by controversial Gauteng MEC for Sports Faith Mazibuko of sabotaging the ANC plans to win the May 8 elections, had previously, despite being white, helped the same government to obtain clean audit outcomes.
This week, Newton, the HOD of Sports, Arts and Culture and a colleague in the department were accused by Mazibuko of having failed to facilitate the construction of “combi courts”, which the MEC wanted to use to help campaign for the ANC in Gauteng.
In her disparaging remarks to them captured in a video clip, Mazibuko is heard telling the two that it was only in her department that whites and Indians occupied senior positions.
Mazibuko said none of the departments, including Gauteng Premier David Makhura’s office, had white and Indian people in senior positions.
She ordered the two to resign if they failed to deliver the “combi courts” ahead of the elections in May.
“It is clear you two are not ready to work in this environment. You better do your work or get out which department has a white woman as a head? None, except national (government).
“That is why some departments do not want an Indian and white womenAbabafuni (They do not want them); It’s not about racism.
“This women empowerment It took it too far and now it is backfiring on me. Go do your work,” Mazibuko goes on to say.
She made the disparaging remarks despite Newton having had loyally served the ANC government in Gauteng since 2001 while Mbhazima Shilowa was premier.
She also worked for the incumbent ANC treasurer Paul Mashatile during his brief stint as Gauteng premier in 2008, as well as Nomvula Mokonyane from 2009 until 2012 while she was premier.
Newton referred inquiries to the departmental spokesperson.
Newton’s career in the mid-1990s began at the national Department of Arts and Culture. In 2001, she took up a post in Shilowa’s office responsible for policy development and monitoring. Her job included working with interdepartmental stakeholders, intergovernmental organisations and to influence high-level governance structures to help formulate development strategies and conducting research on all matters related to the premier’s responsibilities.
She was promoted to chief director post in the Premier’s Office.
Newton was an integral part of the administration that, under the leadership of the DG in the office of the premier, delivered an unqualified audit opinion in 2008/09 and two consecutive clean audits in 2009/10 and 2010/11 for the Office of the Premier.
In 2012, she left the Gauteng government to join the National Arts Council. The Wits University’s master’s graduate is held in high esteem by her own alma mater.
In one of the publications, the university wrote: “Teaching is a fundamental part of Monica’s life, which came into being when she was invited to lecture a module on arts policy at the Wits School of Arts for a postgraduate programme in arts, culture and heritage management.
“Over the years, this relationship has evolved into a part-time lecturing position in the Wits School of Arts, where she lectures on subjects ranging from arts policy to the operational skills necessary to run a successful arts organisation, and supervises the work of masters students.”
It came as no surprise when Newtown was appointed as HOD in Mazibuko’s office in August 2017 following the sacking of her predecessor Namhla Siqaza for misconduct in 2016.
Appointing her, Makhura said: “We are happy to have (Newton) on board. She has a wealth of experience and I have no doubt that she will run the department like a well-oiled-machine”.
In less than two years in office, Mazibuko made the racist comments against her which irked the Gauteng ANC secretary Jacob Khawe.
The ANC has reported Mazibuko to the provincial integrity committee.
“The comments were utterly racist. They were reckless and unacceptable. The ANC is a non-racist and non-sexist organisation,” Khawe said.
But for now, Mazibuko remains in her job, with full perks.