Lawyer wants Tlakula case dismissed

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IOL  st e2mug pansy INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS IEC chairwoman Pansy Tlakula Picture: Boxer Ngwenya

Johannesburg - The Electoral Court was asked on Thursday to dismiss an application to have IEC chairwoman Pansy Tlakula removed from her position.

Daniel Berger SC, for Tlakula, told the court in Johannesburg there was no basis for the recommendation that she be removed.

Tlakula is opposing an application by five opposition parties to have her resign from her position at the Electoral Commission of SA (IEC).

The United Democratic Movement, African Christian Democratic Party, Congress of the People, Agang SA, and Economic Freedom Fighters called for her removal following a forensic investigation by the National Treasury which found that the procurement of the IEC's Riverside Office Park headquarters building 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 Tlakula had a relationship Ä possibly of a romantic nature - with the then chairman of Parliament's finance portfolio committee Thaba Mufamadi.

He was a shareholder in Abland, which owns the office park.

“As a matter of logic, the procurement-related errors... does not affect the way in which she performs her duties as a commissioner,” Berger told the court.

When the IEC obtained the building, Tlakula was not the chairwoman but CEO of the IEC.

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

On Thursday, Berger argued that this did not in any way affect the credibility of last month's elections.

He said some of the parties who were calling for her removal had also approved of the elections and had since been awarded seats in Parliament.

The lawyers of the opposing parties were expected to give their replies to the court on Friday.


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