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Tlakula resignation in court

Johannesburg - IEC chairwoman Pansy Tlakula could never be cleared of all the charges against her, the Electoral Court sitting in the High Court in Johannesburg heard on Tuesday.

Chairperson of the IEC Pansy TlakulaFile photo: Etienne Creux. Credit: INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS

“She (Tlakula) can never be cleared of all the charges and findings against her,” David Unterhalter SC, for various political parties, said.

The court was hearing an application by opposition parties to have Tlakula resign as Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) chairwoman ahead of the May 7 national elections.

The parties calling for Tlakula's resignation are the United Democratic Movement, the African Christian Democratic Party, the Congress of the People, Agang SA, and the Economic Freedom Fighters.

She was not in court for the application.

Unterhalter said Tlakula had misconducted herself.

He said it was important for the electorate and opposition parties to have confidence that the IEC was led by someone who upheld the office to ensure free and fair elections.

“She simply does not have that,” he said.

“She has misconducted herself in the fundamental way in respect to her office.”

He said the court should therefore make a recommendation that Tlakula could not continue to occupy her position.

The application follows a forensic investigation by the national Treasury on the procurement of the IEC's Riverside Office Park building in Centurion, Pretoria.

The probe found the process was neither fair, transparent, nor cost-effective. It found Tlakula did not give guidance or formally inform various people what was expected of them in the process.

Tlakula has maintained she was not accused of corruption in the report.

The Treasury's report followed a recommendation by Public Protector Thuli Madonsela in her own report into the matter, released in August 2013. - Sapa

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