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Johannesburg - The process followed by IEC chairwoman advocate Pansy Tlakula and her executive committee in the procurement of the Riverside Office Park building in Centurion was “grossly irregular”, Public Protector Thuli Madonsela said on Monday.
“While there was no impropriety with regard to the commission handling its own procurement of immovable assets as a constitutional institution, the process followed by advocate Tlakula and her exco in the procurement... was grossly irregular,” Madonsela said at a media briefing.
Madonsela said it was characterised by a violation of procurement legislations and prescripts.
Madonsela also apologised to Tlakula for sending her a report about a probe into alleged irregularities at the Independent Electoral Commission late.
“To advocate Tlakula, I apologise that you received the report in the early hours of today (Monday). I apologise unreservedly,” Madonsela said at a media briefing in Pretoria on Monday.
Madonsela was releasing a report on an investigation into allegations of maladministration and corruption relating to the procurement of the Riverside Office Park to accommodate the head offices of the IEC.
In a statement, Tlakula said she received the report on Monday morning.
“Despite many requests to and assurances from the public protector that I would have access to the final report on alleged irregularities around the procurement of the IEC's offices in Centurion at least one day prior to it being published, I only received it at 04h00 this morning (Monday),” Tlakula said.
“It has left me with minimal time to critically review this document before she releases it to the media.”
Tlakula said she tried to “engage extensively” with the protector “throughout the process on matters relating to her investigation”.
“These include, gross procedural irregularities in the conduct of the investigation, errors of fact and law, abuse of power by the public protector leading up to the compilation of the provisional report and submissions on legal principles regarding conflict of interest.
“I hope that she has given due regard to my submissions.
“I will review the report and issue an appropriate response as soon as I have done so. I believe that because of the nature of the work that the IEC does that the findings of the public protector's report, should be given proper consideration before I respond.” - Sapa