‘Tlakula’s fate lies with National Assembly’

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IOL ST Election Launch 990 INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS Pansy Tlakula, chairwoman of the Independent Electoral Commission. File photo: Boxer Ngwenya

Johannesburg - Parliament will have to decide whether IEC chairwoman Pansy Tlakula will be removed from her position, the Electoral Court sitting in the High Court in Johannesburg heard on Friday.

David Unterhalter SC, for five political parties calling for Tlakula's removal, said the court's main purpose was simply to make a recommendation after hearing all arguments in the matter.

“It is up the National Assembly to decide what to do with that recommendation,” said Unterhalter, adding that the court had a duty to assist Parliament make that decision.

He started his final arguments in the matter by clarifying what he understood to be the powers of the Electoral Court.

Tlakula is opposing an application by the United Democratic Movement, the African Christian Democratic Party, the Congress of the People, Agang SA, and the Economic Freedom Fighters to have her resign from her position.

Their bid followed a forensic probe by the National Treasury which found the procurement of the Electoral Commission of SA's (IEC) 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, among other things, Tlakula had a relationship - possibly of a romantic nature - with then chairman of Parliament's finance portfolio committee Thaba Mufamadi.

He was a shareholder in Abland, which owns the IEC's current premises.

Tlakula has submitted that she made an “honest mistake” in the procurement process.

The case continues. - Sapa

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