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Johannesburg - Shortly before the Public Protector was due to release a report on the procurement of the Independent Electoral Commission's (IEC) head office on Monday morning, its chairwoman said she had not received the report.
Thuli Madonsela was scheduled to address the media in Pretoria on a report into allegations of maladministration and corruption in the procurement of the Riverside Office Park to accommodate the head offices of the IEC.
But IEC chairwoman Pansy Tlakula released a media statement saying she had not yet received a copy of the report, as promised, despite several requests.
“As at 20h45 (Sunday), the final report has still not been shared with me,” Tlakula said.
She said she received enquiries from the media last Thursday about the public protector's intention to release the final report on the probe at a press briefing on Monday.
“As this was the first time I had heard of the intention to publish the report, I wrote to the office of the public protector and requested that she furnish me with a copy of the final report by Friday, 23 August,” said Tlakula.
“In response to my request, I received written confirmation from the public protector's office, that as a standard practice, as an affected party, I would have access to the report one day prior to the briefing.”
Tlakula said the protector contacted her and it was agreed that she would get a copy of the report no later than 10am on Sunday.
“On Sunday morning at 09:00, my lawyers were contacted and advised that we would receive the report sometime (on Sunday). We received no further feedback from the public protector's office until I contacted her at 13h00,” she said.
“She told me it would be available at 15h00. At 14h55, I was informed that I would get the report at 15h30. At 16h08 I received a message from the public protector, asking me to please bear with them and that the document would be sent shortly.”
By Sunday night, she still did not have the report.
“I find it hard to believe that when the media were alerted that the report would be published on Monday... that it still wasn't finalised - including all proofreading and finalisations,” said Tlakula.
“Even more disturbing is the fact that the public protector has not fulfilled her commitment to share the report with me, in line with the precedent her office has set on other reports, one day before it is published to the press.”
She said this was “highly prejudicial and totally unjustifiable”.
Madonsela was expected to address the media on the matter at 10am. - Sapa