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Tlakula’s past counts - counsel

Johannesburg - A person's past could make them unsuitable for a certain position, the Electoral Court sitting in the High Court in Johannesburg heard on Friday.

This is according to David Unterhalter SC, for five political parties calling for the removal of Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) chairwoman Pansy Tlakula.

IEC chairwoman Pansy Tlakula Photo: Masi Losi. Credit: INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS

The United Democratic Movement, the African Christian Democratic Party, the Congress of the People, Agang SA, and the Economic Freedom Fighters want the court to issue a recommendation to Parliament to have Tlakula removed from office after allegations of misconduct.

Their bid followed a forensic investigation by the National Treasury which found the procurement of the IEC's Riverside Office Park headquarters building in Centurion, Pretoria, was neither fair, transparent, nor cost-effective.

The Treasury's investigation followed a recommendation by Public Protector Thuli Madonsela in her own report into the matter.

Madonsela found 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” during the procurement process.

On Thursday, Daniel Berger SC, for Tlakula, said the court should take into consideration that the procurement took place when she was CEO of the IEC, not the chairwoman.

He argued the issue had not affected how she conducted her duties and the country held successful elections under her leadership last month.

Unterhalter, however, argued on Friday that the matter could not be swept under the carpet just because it was not revealed when she applied for the chairwoman position.

The matter continues. - Sapa

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