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Cape Town - Parliament will table a report by Public Protector Thuli Madonsela on Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) chairwoman Pansy Tlakula, it said on Wednesday.
“Parliament has today (Wednesday) received the report.... The report will now be tabled and thereafter referred to a relevant oversight committee for consideration,” it said in a statement.
“The committee is required to report back to the National Assembly (NA) and recommend a course of action.”
Parliament said the IEC was a “state institution supporting constitutional democracy” and reported on its activities to the NA.
“Until the NA adopts the report and recommendation of the committee, the Speaker, in terms of the Constitution, legislation and the rules, is not in a position to embark on any other course of action.”
Madonsela recommended on Monday that Parliament consider taking action against Tlakula.
She said Tlakula had played a “grossly irregular” role in procuring the Riverside Office Park building in Centurion for the IEC's head office.
In a probe into the matter, Madonsela found improper conduct and maladministration on Tlakula's part, and a conflict of interest involving a co-director, with whom she was accused of being romantically involved.
“The Speaker of Parliament... (should) consider whether action should be taken against advocate Tlakula for her role in the procurement... in light of the undisclosed and unmanaged conflict of interest and her contravention of the procurement laws and prescripts,” Madonsela said in her report.
She recommended that the IEC review its agreement with Abland, which was awarded the contract to lease the Riverside Office Park building.
Tlakula is accused of having a romantic relationship with Parliament's finance portfolio committee chairman Thaba Mufamadi, who owns a 20 percent stake in Abland by virtue of co-directorship in Lehotsa Investments (Pty) Limited.
Allegations about their romantic involvement were not investigated as there was no “tangible” evidence.
A whistleblower employee denied the allegation when interviewed by the Protector's office.
However, Madonsela found that Tlakula had failed to disclose her business relationship with Mufamadi to the bidding team, which had compromised her independence and objectivity.
The office of ANC Chief Whip Stone Sizani said on Wednesday that political parties in Parliament had to stop commenting on Tlakula.
“It makes a mockery of parliamentary processes and undermines the institutional role,” it said in a statement.
“Parliament recommends the appointment of the IEC chairpersons. It is therefore irresponsible for parliamentary parties to make public judgements... on a matter that they would still deliberate on (in parliamentary committees) and take a decision (as part of National Assembly).”