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ANC: Tlakula resignation calls malicious

The ruling party has accused opposition parties of being opportunistic.

IEC Chairperson Pansy Tlakula. Picture: Sapa.

JOHANNESBURG - The ANC on Thursday hit out at those calling for Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) Chairperson Pansy Tlakula to step down amidst a scandal over headquarters.

With just over a month before South Africa goes to the polls, eight opposition parties on Wednesday have called for the IEC chief's head.

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) and the United Democratic Movement (UDM) were just some of the parties calling for Tlakula's immediate resignation.

Last year, Public Protector Thuli Madonsela released a damning report on the IEC's procurement of its R320 million offices from property developer Abland.

The protector found Tlakula guilty of maladministration and misconduct, saying she failed to disclose her relationship with Thaba Mufamadi, a part-owner of Abland.

Tlakula maintains she was not part of the decision to award the lease to Abland, arguing two proposals were offered to the IEC.

She said she had no particular preference on the matter.

In a statement released by ANC spokesperson Jackson Mthembu on Thursday, he said the ruling party reaffirmed its confidence in Tlakula and the IEC's ability to deliver credible, free and fair elections.

"The allegations surrounding the acquisition of the IEC headquarters in Centurion have no bearing on the 2014 General Elections," the statement read.

The ANC says it is confident the IEC will deal with the allegations without any interference from any political party.

OPPOSITION 'OPPORTUNISTIC, MALICIOUS'

Mthembu accused those calling for Tlakula's resignation of stirring trouble ahead of 7 May polls.

"We view [these calls] as opportunistic, malicious and designed to cast doubt over the credibility of the General Election of 2014."

He also hit back at EFF leader Julius Malema's recent claim that the country is on the brink of a civil war.

"Inflammatory calls have been made in recent days, including reckless threats of a civil war. It set an extremely dangerous precedent intended to undermine institutions of our democracy and the very foundation upon which is built."

The statement then calls on South Africans to reject the opposition's calls and commit to a peaceful election period.

IEC deputy chairperson Terry Tselane says he and other commissioners still cannot comment on whether Tlakula should resign.

He said any decision was entirely up to Tlakula herself.