IEC: Findings won't affect elections

2013-08-27 11:03
IEC CEO Pansy Tlakula (Picture: Sapa)

IEC CEO Pansy Tlakula (Picture: Sapa)

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Lease report finds Tlakula guilty

2013-08-27 08:00

A report by the Public Protector has found IEC head, Pansy Tlakula, guilty of misconduct in connection with the relocation of a building in Pretoria.WATCH

Johannesburg - The findings of the public protector's investigation into IEC chairperson Pansy Tlakula will not affect the national and provincial elections next year, the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) said.

"Various election milestones have already been achieved by the electoral commission. Staff have been identified and trained and the focus now is on the November 2013 registration weekend,” IEC deputy chairperson Terry Tselane said in a statement, issued late on Monday.

He said the report by Thuli Madonsela, which found Tlakula guilty of improper conduct and maladministration, would in "no way" affect the 2014 elections.

"The electoral commission would like to give every assurance to political parties, the South African electorate and international partners that the commission remains committed to maintaining its high standards as a pre-eminent leader in electoral democracy," said Tselane.

"The commission is confident that preparations are sufficiently advanced, to yet again, successfully manage the forthcoming elections as soon as the President of South Africa, Jacob Zuma, proclaims the date thereof."

Conflict of interest

Madonsela on Monday recommended that Parliament consider taking action against Tlakula for her "grossly irregular" role in the procurement of the Riverside Office Park building in Centurion for the IEC's headquarters.

Madonsela also found a conflict of interest involving a co-director, with whom Tlakula was accused of being romantically involved.

She recommended that the IEC review its agreement with Abland, which was awarded the contract to lease the building.

Tlakula was accused of having a romantic relationship with Parliament's finance portfolio committee chairperson Thaba Mufamadi, who owns a 20% stake in Abland by virtue of their co-directorship in Lehotsa Investments (Pty) Limited.

Allegations about their romantic involvement were not investigated as there was no "tangible" evidence, and the whistleblower employee denied the allegation when interviewed by the protector's office.

Call for Tlakula’s suspension

But, Madonsela found that Tlakula had failed to disclose her business relationship with Mufamadi to the bidding team, which compromised her independence and objectivity.

Tlakula is now seeking legal redress.

She told SAfm and Talk Radio 702 on Tuesday morning that she would not resign.

Tlakula said in a statement after the release of the report that it contained "procedural and substantive irregularities".

The Democratic Alliance and other political parties have since called for Tlakula's suspension.

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