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Tlakula: Credibility of elections safe

The IEC chairperson says she won't step down until she has cleared her name.

IEC Chairperson Pansy Tlakula. Picture: Sapa.

JOHANNESBURG - Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) Chairperson Pansy Tlakula said she doesn't believe her refusal to step down will in any way affect the credibility of next week's elections.

Five opposition parties are going to the Electoral Court this morning to request to recommend her removal because of Public Protector Thuli Madonsela's finding of maladministration against her for her role in a headquarters leasing deal.

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.

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.

Last year, 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 and recommended President Jacob Zuma take urgent steps against her.

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 to the Electoral Court, the parties said 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.

VOTING

The Department of International Relations and Cooperation said voting will go ahead as planned tomorrow for South Africans living abroad.

It's been reported this morning that some expats may be unable to cast their ballots due to a miscommunication by the department as well as the IEC over voting forms.

Department spokesperson Clayson Monyela said eligible voters were notified by the IEC of the correct procedures to follow.

"Where people didn't get information, the IEC will investigate what happened. But as far as we are concerned, the information that people needed to get in order for them to qualify to vote was communicated."

South Africans go to the polls on 7 May.