IEC lease report ‘does not call me corrupt’

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iol news pic IEC Pansy Tlakula INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS Chairperson of the IEC Pansy Tlakula File photo: Etienne Creux

Johannesburg -

A National Treasury report into the procurement process for the Electoral Commission of SA's (IEC) head office does not accuse chairwoman Pansy Tlakula of corruption, she said on Wednesday.

“Contrary to media reports, the report does not make a finding of corruption or accrual of financial gain against me or any official of the commission,” she said in a statement.

The report of the forensic investigation, released on Tuesday, was done by auditors PricewaterhouseCoopers on behalf of the Treasury on the procurement of the IEC's Riverside Office Park building in Centurion, Pretoria.

The report indicated that the procurement process was not fair, transparent, or cost-effective. It also found that Tlakula did not give guidance or formally inform various people what was expected of them in the process.

Tlakula said: “l reiterate that I have not been involved or found guilty of any criminal or corrupt activity. Thus, any reporting to that effect is without foundation and presumably calculated to impugn my integrity.”

She did not want to respond to the report in full until Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, who is the custodian of the report, had addressed issues that she had raised with him relating to the investigation.

The IEC acknowledged and disclosed concerns about non-compliance with procurement prescripts of its own volition in its financial statements for 2010/2011, before any of the probes into the process, she said.

“Where we made mistakes during this process, we disclosed and owned up to them.

“We have learned from those mistakes.”

Tlakula said the IEC had already tightened up its procurement processes to ensure full compliance with regulations.

Furthermore, she was satisfied the non-compliance was unintentional and did not set out to secure improper benefit for anyone involved.

The Treasury report followed a recommendation from Public Protector Thuli Madonsela in her own report into the matter, released in August 2013.

Madonsela found Tlakula had played a “grossly irregular” role in procuring the premises.

The complaint against Tlakula to Madonsela was lodged by United Democratic Movement leader Bantu Holomisa. Tlakula was CEO at the time the complaint was lodged.

Tlakula has blasted Madonsela's report, which she said contained “factual errors”.

On Wednesday, she said her review application seeking to have Madonsela's report reviewed and aspects of it set aside was still pending.

“I put my faith in the legal system and I believe that my name will be cleared at the end of this drawn out process.”

She said the timing of the Treasury report release was unfortunate because the IEC preparations for the general elections were at a critical stage. - Sapa



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