Tlakula determined to clear her name

Five parties will today formally ask the Electoral Court to recommend she be removed from her post.

IEC Chairperson Pansy Tlakula. Picture: Sapa.

JOHANNESBURG - As five opposition parties go to court this morning against Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) chairperson Pansy Tlakula, she said she's prepared to do anything to clear her name.

The parties will ask the Electoral Court to recommend Tlakula be removed from her post ahead of the 7 May elections due to findings by Public Protector Thuli Madonsela against her.

The parties claim the person running the elections should have no question marks next to their name.

But Tlakula said she isn't stepping down until her reputation is cleared.

"I will not leave until I have cleared my name and I am prepared to go to any length to do this. Until I have done that, I am going nowhere."

She said she has done nothing wrong by participating in a business outside her role at the IEC.

"At that time I was the Chief Electoral Officer and there was no law and there is still no law which states that employees of the organisation cannot participate in economic activities in this country, provided it is disclosed."

Tlakula also said it would be prejudging today's case to ask her to step down temporarily.

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.