Zuma grants under-fire Tlakula leave

Comment on this story
IOL pic jun5 pansy tlakula Independent Newspapers IEC chairwoman Pansy Tlakula File picture: Masi Losi

Pretoria - President Jacob Zuma has granted IEC chairwoman Pansy Tlakula's request for a special leave of absence, the presidency said on Tuesday.

“The president has granted the special leave of absence until a final decision on her fitness to hold office as chairperson of the commission is made,” the presidency said in a statement.

Tlakula asked Zuma to put her on special leave following the Electoral Court's recommendation that she be removed from office.

On June 19, Tlakula's lawyer Leslie Mkhabela said the Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) chairwoman would appeal against the recommendation in the Constitutional Court.

“In the meanwhile, she will be approaching the president of the republic to seek his permission to take leave of absence from office while the appeal process is under way,” Mkhabela said at the time.

Several opposition parties approached the Electoral Court seeking Tlakula's resignation as IEC chairwoman before the May 7 elections.

However, the matter was postponed until after the elections to allow the court time to make a recommendation.

The United Democratic Movement, the African Christian Democratic Party, the Congress of the People, Agang SA, and Economic Freedom Fighters wanted Tlakula's resignation, arguing her integrity was compromised.

This followed a report by Public Protector Thuli Madonsela and a subsequent forensic investigation by Treasury into the procurement of the IEC's Riverside Office Park building in Centurion. Tlakula was chief electoral officer at the time.

Madonsela found that Tlakula had a relationship Äpossibly of a romantic nature Ä with the then chairman of Parliament's finance portfolio committee, Thaba Mufamadi.

Mufamadi was a shareholder in Abland, which owns the building and was awarded the R320 million contract to lease it.

The Treasury probe found the procurement process was neither fair, transparent, nor cost-effective. It found Tlakula neither gave guidance nor formally informed various people what was expected of them in the process.

In a written judgment on June 18, Judge Lotter Wepener concluded Tlakula's misconduct warranted her removal from office.

Sapa



sign up
 
 

Comment Guidelines



  1. Please read our comment guidelines.
  2. Login and register, if you haven’ t already.
  3. Write your comment in the block below and click (Post As)
  4. Has a comment offended you? Hover your mouse over the comment and wait until a small triangle appears on the right-hand side. Click triangle () and select "Flag as inappropriate". Our moderators will take action if need be.