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Tlakula: Responsible for irregular expenditure

2014-05-02 12:22
(Sapa)
Johannesburg - IEC chairperson Pansy Tlakula has acknowledged responsibility for irregular expenditure at an Electoral Court sitting in the High Court in Johannesburg.

Power987 tweeted "#Tlakula previously said she acted with lawful discretion, now she takes responsibility for irregular expenditure..".

Several opposition parties lodged an application seeking Tlakula's resignation as chairperson of the Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) before the 7 May elections.

The application was heard on Tuesday, but was postponed to give Tlakula time to file a responding affidavit for a full inquiry.

Tlakula was prejudiced and did not have enough time to prepare for an inquiry into an application calling for her resignation, the Electoral Court heard on Friday.

"I will deal with the prejudice she has suffered... The legal team have not had sufficient time to prepare for the investigation," Daniel Berger SC, for Tlakula, told the court sitting in the High Court.

"We ask the court to bear in mind... we have done what we can in the time available."

'No point in applying'

The Electoral Court was hearing an application by several opposition political parties calling for Tlakula to resign as chairperson of the Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) before the 7 May national elections.

Judge Lotter Wepener asked Berger if he would apply for more time.

Berger said no - despite not having enough time, there would be "no point in applying" for further time.

He said they had to file an affidavit by 17:00 on Thursday, but only faxed an unsigned affidavit by 19:00.

"That left no time to prepare a legal argument," he said.

"I will argue to the best of my ability... I have prepared to argue the matter today based on the affidavit in front of court."

The opposition parties are arguing that Tlakula's integrity has been compromised.

The parties are the United Democratic Movement, the African Christian Democratic Party, the Congress of the People, Agang SA, and the Economic Freedom Fighters.

Their application follows a forensic investigation by the National Treasury into the procurement of the IEC's Riverside Office Park building in Centurion.

The probe found the process was neither fair, transparent, nor cost-effective. It also found Tlakula neither gave guidance nor formally informed various people what was expected of them in the process.

Tlakula has maintained she was not accused of corruption in the report.

The Treasury's report followed a recommendation by Public Protector Thuli Madonsela in her own report into the matter, released in August last year.

On Friday, UDM leader Bantu Holomisa was in court. He entered and went to speak to the opposition parties' lawyers.

Tlakula was not in court.
- SAPA
Read more on: cope  |  acdp  |  udm  |  iec  |  agang  |  eff  |  pansy tlakula  |  bantu holomisa  |  thuli ­madonsela  |  johannesburg  |  corruption  |  elections 2014

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