Tlakula: I will not resign

Pansy Tlakula has defended herself against allegations of misconduct.

Pansy Tlakula. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) chief Pansy Tlakula says she will not resign.

Tlakula was speaking in response to a report by Public Protector Thuli Madonsela which found her guilty of maladministration and misconduct over the IEC's acquisition of a new R320 million office in Centurion.

In 2011, UDM Leader Bantu Holomisa asked Madonsela to investigate the corruption allegations against Tlakula.

Speaking to Talk Radio 702's John Robbie, Tlakula denied the allegations against her saying she will not resign or step aside until the matter is resolved.

"I am not going to resign until the people who have appointed me tell me to do so. I think the Public Protector's report must be put under scrutiny."

She said the report will not compromise next year's elections.

"The IEC will still run the elections in the way it has. It's simply that these negative publications and allegation are damaging to the institution."

Madonsela also found that Tlakula failed to disclose her business relationship with Thaba Mufamadi, a co-director involved in the property deal and has recommended that President Jacob Zuma take urgent steps against her.

The IEC had initially decided to award the lease contract to Menlyn Corporate Park, but Tlakula later expressed her dissatisfaction with the decision and the decision was made to sign with Abland.

While Tlakula admitted she had a business relationship with Mufamadi, she denied any romantic involvement with him.

"I have a business relationship with him, but not in the company that tendered for the property.

"If I am involved in a company that has submitted a tender and I am not going to get any financial benefit from the transaction that arises out of the tender. Is that a conflict because that's what I want the court to decide."

She also said no IEC policies have been contravened.

She said she is "surprised" by allegations that she is romantically involved with Mufamadi.

Tlakula said Advocate Madonsela received an anonymous defamatory complaint about this matter.

"It's not true, because she even called somebody who denied the allegation."

Madonsela described Tlakula's conduct as an "unmanaged and undisclosed conflict of interest" and said the consequences included significant damage to the reputation of the IEC.

Madonsela says although there is a genuine need for a bigger building, for a more reasonable price, the process was flawed.

'TLAKULA MUST BE SHOWN THE DOOR'

Meanwhile, several political parties are calling for Tlakula's suspension.

The Congress of the People (Cope)'s J.J. Abrie says the contravention of the procurement prescripts raises eyebrows and could have an impact on public confidence.

"We don't believe they can be trusted in overseeing an election campaign if they can't oversee the renting of an office."

The Democratic Alliance's Manny de Freitas is calling for an urgent meeting with both Madonsela and the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs.

"If it's found conclusively it was corruption or mishandling, certainly she should be fired."

Holomisa also welcomed the findings.

"She should be shown the door with immediate effect."