IEC had to move from crowded offices – Pansy Tlakula

2014-06-05 12:40

IEC chairperson Pansy Tlakula says it was necessary for the Independent Electoral Commission to move from its old offices.

Tlakula’s lawyer Daniel Berger SC today told the Electoral Court sitting at the high court in Johannesburg that the old offices were small and crowded with some people “camping in the passageways”.

Tlakula is opposing an application by five opposition parties to have her resign from her position at the IEC.

This followed a forensic investigation by the National Treasury, which found that the procurement of the IEC’s Riverside Office Park headquarters in Centurion had not been fair, transparent or cost-effective.

The Treasury investigation followed a recommendation by Public Protector Thuli Madonsela in her own report into the matter.

Madonsela found that Tlakula had a relationship – possibly of a romantic nature – with the then chairperson of Parliament’s finance portfolio committee, Thaba Mufumadi. He was a shareholder in Abland, which owns the office park.

Yesterday, the court heard that Tlakula had made an “honest mistake” during the procurement process.

“The fact that people make mistakes does not have a bearing on their integrity, their impartiality,” Berger said.

Berger said today the Electoral Court could not make a recommendation to recover any loss which might have resulted from the procurement of the building.

“This court is not tasked with setting aside a tender ... or ensuring that no losses were incurred.”

“They are tasked to investigate misconduct,” he said.

The case continues.

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