One page ends Thuli, Pansy stand-off

2013-11-01 00:00

CAPE TOWN — Parliament yesterday ended the stand-off between Public Protector Thuli Madonsela and chair of the Independent Electorate Commission (IEC) Pansy Tlakula with a one-page report.

Madonsela had in her report raised concerns that Tlakula may have acted irregularly when the IEC acquired a new head office.

Tlakula contested Madonsela’s procedures and findings, pointing out a slew of legal shortcomings.

The multi-party ad hoc committee that then investigated Madonsela’s report finalised its findings in less than one page yesterday.

The report, which was jointly written by DA MP James Selfe and ANC MP Luwellyn Landers, puts Tlakula in the clear.

The report makes only three points:

• Parliament takes note of Madonsela’s report;

• Parliament cannot execute Madonsela’s “recommendations” because they are illegal and/or unconstitutional; and

• Parliament recommends that the electoral commission, the Department of Home Affairs, Treasury and, as far as he is involved, the Auditor-General, should complete their current processes following Madonsela’s recommendations where this is allowed within the law.

During the discussion of the report, Selfe mooted that shortcomings in the legislation that prescribes how reports from the Public Protector should be handled, must be rectified.

He was supported in this motion by ANC MP Johnny de Lange.

The report will now be referred to the National Assembly for its acceptance.

As far as Parliament is concerned, this cements the truce that South Africa’s two iron ladies have maintained since Madonsela first sent her report to the speaker of the National Assembly, Max Sisulu, for him to take action.

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