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Pretoria - Julius Malema has expressed concern that a person with questionable credentials will preside over what is expected to be a fiercely contested general election.
The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) commander-in-chief was addressing the media during a short visit to the national results operations centre in Pretoria on Sunday.
South Africans go to the polls on Wednesday to elect new members of the national and provincial legislatures, with questions hanging over the head of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), chairwoman, Pansy Tlakula.
Malema took a walkabout at the centre, accompanied by his EFF central command team. The visit was to show appreciation and recognition of the good work that had been done by the IEC to ensure a smooth election, he said. Leaders of Cope also visited the centre soon after the EFF entourage had left.
The EFF presidential candidate said Tlakula should have taken leave of absence until she had been cleared of any wrongdoing after a forensic investigation by the National Treasury into the procurement of the IEC’s Riverside Office Park building in Centurion.
The investigation found the process was neither fair, transparent, nor cost-effective. Also, that Tlakula did not give guidance or formally inform various people what was expected of them in the process.
The IEC boss has maintained her innocence amid calls from opposition parties for her resignation.
Malema said Tlakula’s refusal to go was because she was in it for personal glory. “She wants to appear on television and be the one that announces the results of the election. You should see her next to Jacob Zuma; she acts like a schoolgirl when she sees him,” he said.
Malema said the EFF would post observers at every voting station to ensure the election was free and fair.
“No election is perfect, but all we can do is to ensure it is as best as it can be,” Malema said.
He will conclude his campaign for the election on Tuesday with door-to-door visits in Rustenburg as well as a community meeting in Marikana, where the EFF was launched last year.
He will then go home to Seshego in Limpopo where he will cast his vote at his old school, the Mponegele Lower Primary School.