Tlakula to ask Zuma for leave

2014-06-19 18:01
(Picture: Sapa)

(Picture: Sapa)

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Johannesburg - IEC chair Pansy Tlakula plans to ask President Jacob Zuma for a leave of absence following the Electoral Court's recommendation that she be removed from office, her lawyer said on Thursday.

"Advocate Tlakula has taken the decision to institute an appeal to the Constitutional Court to have all these issues finally determined," Leslie Mkhabela said.

"In the meanwhile, she will be approaching the president of the republic to seek his permission to take leave of absence from office while the appeal process is under way."

He said Tlakula had considered the Electoral Court's judgment, handed down on Wednesday.

"She is obviously disappointed with the outcome."

Mkhabela said the judgment contained several critical errors of fact.

"It also raises important constitutional issues regarding the removal of commissioners from office."

In a written judgment on Wednesday, Judge Lotter Wepener recommended Tlakula be removed from her post. He concluded Tlakula's misconduct warranted her removal from office.

The relevant committee of the National Assembly would consider the court's recommendation and decide on further steps.

‘Grossly irregular’

Public Protector Thuli Madonsela last year recommended that Parliament consider action against Tlakula for her "grossly irregular" role in the procurement of the Electoral Commission of SA's (IEC) Riverside Office Park building in Centurion.

Madonsela found, among other things, that Tlakula had a relationship - possibly of a romantic nature - with the then chairperson of Parliament's finance portfolio committee Thaba Mufamadi.

Mufamadi was a shareholder in Abland, which owns the building and was awarded the R320m contract to lease it.

The Electoral Court found Tlakula had compromised the IEC and her actions could have detracted from public confidence in it.

"In my view, the respondent compromised the independence and integrity of the commission to such an extent that her actions complained of constitute misconduct within the meaning of the Electoral Commission Act," Wepener said in his written ruling.

The IEC said it would comment on the court ruling later on Thursday.

- SAPA

Read more on:    iec  |  jacob zuma  |  pansy tlakula  |  thuli mandonsela  |  johannesburg
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