Tlakula's objectivity 'compromised'

2013-08-26 14:15
(Picture: Sapa)

(Picture: Sapa)

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Pretoria - IEC chairperson Pansy Tlakula failed to disclose her business relationship with a co-director who had a common interest in Lehotsa Investments, Public Protector Thuli Madonsela said on Monday.

"The ideal way that advocate Tlakula could have mitigated and managed this conflict was through declaration of the relationship and recusal from the procurement process," Madonsela said at a media briefing in Pretoria.

"By her participation in the procurement process involving her chairperson and co-director where they have a common interest... her independence and the objectivity in the entire process may have been compromised."

Maladministration

The protector found Tlakula guilty of improper conduct and maladministration.

Madonsela had investigated allegations made by United Democratic Movement leader Bantu Holomisa, including suspected irregularities in the procurement of the Riverside Office Park for the IEC's head office, the validity of lease agreements entered into by the commission, and various payments to Abland.

There were further allegations of a conflict of interest between Tlakula and Parliament's finance portfolio committee chairperson Thaba Mufamadi, who is chairperson of Manaka Property Investments, which owns a 20% stake in Abland by virtue of their co-directorship in Lehotsa Investments (Pty) Limited.

Madonsela said allegations about a romantic relationship between Tlakula and Mufamadi were not investigated as they were not backed by anything tangible.

She said the whistleblower employee denied the allegation when interviewed by the protector.

On request by Mufamadi, Madonsela omitted details about the alleged romantic relationship.

Abland was awarded the contract to lease the Riverside Office Park building to accommodate the IEC's head office.

"Tlakula was highly involved in initiation, evaluation and adjudication of the bids for the procurement of the building," said Madonsela.

"Adv Tlakula failed to declare her business relationship with Mufamadi to the team that had to evaluate the bids."

Read more on:    iec  |  pansy tlakula  |  thuli madonsela  |  elections 2014  |  government spending

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