Opposition will march if Pansy Tlakula is not fired

2014-04-20 15:00

Opposition political parties say if their court application to force President Jacob Zuma to axe elections boss Pansy Tlakula fails, they will march to the Union Buildings.

The United Democratic Movement, the African Christian Democratic Party, Cope, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and Agang SA lodged an urgent application in the Electoral Court this week.

They want the court to compel Parliament to remove Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) head Tlakula through a recommendation to Zuma.

EFF spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said the proposed march to Pretoria was another way to make those in power heed the calls for Tlakula’s resignation.

“We have the court process and if that fails, we will have the mass action to compel the president to fire Tlakula because only the president can fire her.”

The parties contend that Tlakula is not fit for office because her independence, a constitutional requirement for IEC executives and commissioners, is in doubt since the IEC was found to have awarded R320?million to a company in which her business partner, ANC MP Thaba Mufamadi, had a stake.

The parties say that Tlakula should have recused herself from all tender processes but instead “countermanded” the awarding of the original lease contract and started a new and “improper” tender bidding process that benefited Mufamadi.

Two investigations, by auditing firm PwC and Public Protector Thuli Madonsela, found that the tender process initiated and run by Tlakula was “not fair, equitable, transparent, competitive or cost effective” and that the commission could have saved at least R110?million if she had fulfilled her duties and followed procedure.

The parties argue in court papers that Tlakula’s absence from the IEC will not harm the running of the elections, but there would be “reason to doubt that the 2014 elections would be free and fair” if she is involved with them.

But Tlakula has refused to resign or step aside until after the May 7 polls. She says the calls for her to resign are premature because she is challenging Madonsela’s findings with a view to having them reviewed by the court.

The IEC could not be reached for comment at the time of going to press.

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