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Johannesburg - Parliament is grappling to find ways to deal with Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s report into maladministration and corruption in the purchasing of the Independent Electoral Commission’s headquarters.
The ad hoc committee dealing with the matter is now seeking legal advice from Parliament’s legal brains on the jurisdiction of the Electoral Court, as the committee has seen that when the transaction took place, IEC chairwoman Pansy Tlakula was neither the chairwoman nor a commissioner of the IEC, but was the chief executive officer.
The committee is also not sure whether it has the powers to come to a different conclusion to Madonsela’s and “whether we can put in doubt her findings”.
Tlakula, who is fingered in Madonsela’s report, the auditor-ceneral and former commissioners will also be requested to make formal submissions before the committee can make a finding.
The committee met for the second time on Wednesday to consider Madonsela’s report on the investigation into allegations of maladministration and corruption in the procurement of the Riverside office park in Centurion in order to accommodate the head offices of the IEC.
A number of MPs raised concerns about what powers the committee had.
Committee chairman Llewellyn Landers said in a statement after the meeting that the committee would like a legal opinion on how far the committee and the National Assembly can deal with Madonsela’s report or with any other Chapter 9 institution and their findings.
Explaining the way forward, Landers said the committee had decided it would like to receive a written response from Tlakula to satisfy the requirements of the audi alteram partem rule, which provides that the other side must be given a chance to state its case.
“The committee has also requested that the previous commission appear before it as there are some questions about the manner in which they initially agreed to the lease of the Menlyn Corporate Park,” said Landers.
ANC MP Buti Manamela said Tlakula had not been given an opportunity, or had not made a submission in response to the report.
“So I think we should ask her to make a written submission,” said Manamela.
The DA’s James Selfe said the request for a submission from Tlakula was reasonable.
The committee has until October 31 to finalise and reach a conclusion on the matter.