Committee to seek legal opinion over Tlakula

2013-09-25 14:25
(Dan Calderwood, News24)

(Dan Calderwood, News24)

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Cape Town - A parliamentary ad hoc committee tasked with considering a damning report on IEC chair Pansy Tlakula, will seek legal opinion before deciding how to proceed.

The multi-party committee met on Wednesday, but agreed the report - released by Public Protector Thuli Madonsela last month - was not enough for them to go on.

Madonsela's report recommends that Parliament considers taking action against Tlakula.

She found Tlakula had played a "grossly irregular" role in procuring the Riverside Office Park building in Centurion for the Independent Electoral Commission's (IEC) head office.

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.

On Wednesday, ANC MP Buti Manamela said the ANC first required a written reply from Tlakula to the report before the committee could even think of considering the report.

"As chairperson of the IEC, Advocate Pansy Tlakula has not been given an opportunity to provide submissions in response to the report," Manamela said.

Input welcomed

Other MPs welcomed input from Tlakula, but raised more sharply the need for legal opinion, given the complexity of the matter.

"I was wondering whether legal opinion could be obtained relating to whether somebody can be requested to be referred to the Electoral Court for actions before the person was a commissioner?" DA MP James Selfe asked.

The protector's findings against Tlakula relate to when she was still IEC CEO, before being appointed commission chairperson in 2011.

The Electoral Court can only consider matters against commissioners.

Committee chair Luwellyn Landers agreed MPs would first have to consider responses to Madonsela's report, before deciding on a way forward.

"We will formally request a written response from the auditor general's office related to the Riverside complex. We will request a written response from advocate Tlakula to the public protector's report and request a legal opinion from Parliament's legal advisers," Landers said before adjourning the meeting.

Read more on:    da  |  anc  |  iec  |  pansy tlakula  |  thuli madonsela  |  cape town  |  parliament 2013  |  politics  |  elections 2014

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