Tlakula stands firm amidst IEC scandal

The IEC chairperson says she’s still the same person who successfully oversaw the previous polls.

IEC Chairperson Pansy Tlakula says she is the same person who successfully oversaw the previous general election. Picture: Sapa.

JOHANNESBURG - Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) Chairperson Pansy Tlakula says she won't step down from her post as she is still the same person who ran the last national election five years ago.

Tomorrow, five opposition parties will formally ask the Electoral Court to recommend she be removed from her post ahead of the 7 May elections because of her role in a headquarters leasing scandal.

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

She found Tlakula guilty of maladministration and misconduct over the acquisition.

Madonsela said the IEC chair failed to disclose her relationship with Thaba Mufamadi, a part-owner of Abland.

In the documents submitted in their application at the Electoral Court, the parties say Mufamadi is on the list of ANC candidates submitted to the IEC this year.

However, Tlakula has denied any wrongdoing, and that her ability to oversee the electoral process remains intact.

"I'm the same person who was at the helm of the organisation as the chief electoral officer in 2009 and 2011."

She also says the decision about the headquarters lease was not taken by her alone and was an organisational decision.

But the parties taking her to court claim the elections should be run by someone with no question marks against them whatsoever.