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Tlakula hearing underway

The Electoral Court is sitting in the South Gauteng High Court listening to arguments in the matter.

The Electoral Court is sitting in the South Gauteng High Court listening to arguments in the matter.

JOHANNESBURG - The Electoral Court, sitting in the High Court in Johannesburg, is hearing arguments about an application to force Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) chairperson Pansy Tlakula to resign.

Opposition parties including The United Democratic Movement, ACDP, Congress of the People, Agang SA and Economic Freedom Fighters are calling on Tlakula to step down saying there was misconduct on the procurement of the IEC's head offices.

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.

The parties claim that her refusal to step down means the legitimacy of the polls is in question because the person running them is not seen as being totally clean and transparent.

Advocate David Unterhalter who is representing the opposition parties said it's an act of misconduct for the IEC chair to remain in office.

He wants the court to make a recommendation to the National Assembly based on this.

Judge Lotter Wepener said it's unclear if the National Assembly will even be able to convene before the elections next Wednesday and is questioning the urgency of this application.

Tlakula meanwhile maintained that she hasn't been accused of corruption.

She also doesn't believe her refusal to step down will in any way affect the credibility of next week's elections.

'GUILTY OF MALADMINISTRATION'

Madonsela 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.

Tlakula said she doesn't believe there will be questions about the elections because of her.

"I really don't believe that my presence in the organisation will affect the credibility of the elections and that is why I am still there despite all the noise."

She also said she won't step down temporarily for the elections.

"I am saying what if the court throws out the case? They want me to step down before the process is even completed."

Tlakula also said she followed the law during this deal.

She said she won't move until her name is cleared.