Tlakula lashes out at Madonsela's report

2013-08-27 07:29
Pansy Tlakula (Picture: Sapa)

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 chairperson of the Independent Electoral Commission, Pansy Tlakula has lashed out at the report by public protector Thuli Madonsela saying if unchallenged, it could damage the credibility of the IEC.

"I believe that left unchallenged, the report of the public protector into the IEC lease has the potential to damage the credibility of the important institution in which I have worked for more than 10 years," she said in a statement.

Madonsela recommended on Monday that Parliament consider taking action against Tlakula.

She said Tlakula had played a "grossly irregular" role in procuring the Riverside Office Park building, in Centurion, for the IEC's head office.

Romantic involvement

In a probe into the matter, Madonsela found improper conduct and maladministration on Tlakula's part, and a conflict of interest involving a co-director, with whom she was accused of being romantically involved.

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

Tlakula is 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 co-directorship in Lehotsa Investments (Pty) Limited.

Tlakula said she had respect for the office of the public protector as a Chapter 9 institution but she was duty bound to point out that the investigation and report was fraught with procedural and substantive irregularities.

She identified errors of law and fact, matters on which she might seek legal redress.

She said conflict of interest in relation to the IEC was a matter that is expressly regulated by a policy which prohibits an employee from making any personal gain at the expense of or as a result of their employment at the body.

Award reversed

"No finding has been made that I made any personal gain, obtained any financial or other interest in the company. I could therefore not have breached the policy as it stands," she said.

Tlakula said the report was very significant where it was mute on the fact that she reversed an award that was approved by the commission which was not made through a competitive process.

"[Madonsela] instead slates me for that intervention. The decision to award the tender was neither made by me, nor the EXCO committee of six, of which I was a member."

"It was made by the commissioners after two bidders were recommended to them without indicating any preference for either bidder," she said.

Tlakula said she was ready to accept non-compliance with procurement processes where they existed.
Read more on:    iec  |  pansy tlakula  |  thuli madonsela  |  elections 2014

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