Tlkakula suffered prejudice, says lawyer

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PRETORIA NEWS

IEC chairwoman Pansy Tlakula. File photo: Phill Magakoe

Johannesburg - IEC chairwoman Pansy Tlakula was prejudiced and did not have enough time to prepare for an inquiry into an application calling for her resignation, the Electoral Court heard on Friday.

“I will deal with the prejudice she has suffered... The legal team have not had sufficient time to prepare for the investigation,” Daniel Berger SC, for Tlakula, told the court sitting in the High Court in Johannesburg.

“We ask the court to bear in mind... we have done what we can in the time available.”

The Electoral Court was hearing an application by several opposition political parties calling for Tlakula to resign as chairwoman of the Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) before the May 7 national elections.

Judge Lotter Wepener asked Berger if he would apply for more time.

Berger said no - despite not having enough time, there would be “no point in applying” for further time.

He said they had to file an affidavit by 5pm on Thursday, but only faxed an unsigned affidavit by 7pm.

“That left no time to prepare a legal argument,” he said.

“I will argue to the best of my ability... I have prepared to argue the matter today based on the affidavit in front of court.”

The opposition parties want Tlakula to resign, arguing that her integrity has been compromised.

The parties are the United Democratic Movement, the African Christian Democratic Party, the Congress of the People, Agang SA, and the Economic Freedom Fighters.

Their application follows a forensic investigation by the National Treasury into the procurement of the IEC's Riverside Office Park building in Centurion.

The probe found the process was neither fair, transparent, nor cost-effective.

It also found Tlakula neither gave guidance nor formally informed 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 last year.

On Friday, UDM leader Bantu Holomisa was in court. He entered and went to speak to the opposition parties' lawyers.

Tlakula was not in court.

The matter continues. - Sapa


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