MEC ‘must pay’ for telling mother to ‘close up’

2014-04-29 13:09

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Gauteng MEC Faith Mazibuko has cost the taxpayer R350 000 after she told a mother who was trying to apply for social grants for her children that she should keep her legs closed and stop having them.

The department of infrastructure development has admitted in a response to a request for information filed by the DA’s Jack Bloom that it paid this amount to Lerato Radijeje in an out-of-court settlement.

Mazibuko allegedly made the comment to Radijeje in 2009 at a government outreach event in De Deur in the Vaal.

According to Sowetan newspaper, Radijeje, who was the mother of newborn triplets, was asking how she could get social grant assistance for the triplets when Mazibuko made the remarks.

“I tried to explain my situation, but she [Mazibuko] told me that I should ‘close up’,” said Radijeje at the time.

The mother subsequently claimed R2 million in damages for the insult, but settled for R350 000 in November last year.

In a press release, Bloom said it was “outrageous that taxpayers have paid for Mazibuko’s grossly insensitive words”.

He called on Mazibuko, currently the MEC for community safety, to apologise and repay the money, which came out of the department’s legal fees budget.

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