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Tlakula prepares to fight for her position

The IEC chair maintains she didn't personally gain from the headquarters leasing scandal.

IEC Chair Pansy Tlakula. Picture: Sebabatso Mosamo/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) Chair Advocate Pansy Tlakula has told the Electoral Court she did not gain personally from the decision that saw the commission choose a certain firm to provide it with a headquarters.

Tlakula has now lodged legal papers with the court as it prepares to hold an inquiry into her conduct this morning.

Five opposition parties say Tlakula must be removed before Wednesday's elections because of her conduct during a headquarters leasing deal.

The parties want her to resign to safeguard the integrity of the election.

In her legal papers, Tlakula said she's done nothing that can be construed as dishonest, corrupt or fraudulent and that there is no basis to believe the IEC's integrity has been harmed.

She explained in detail how the IEC came to decide to rent its current headquarters, saying the final decision was made by the commissioners and not by herself as she was still CEO at the time.

Tlakula also said that she was not present at the meeting that saw the company Abland get onto the shortlist.

She said there was no way she stood to gain personally from making the commission use the firm that eventually won the contract.

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.

The protector said the IEC head failed to disclose her relationship with Thaba Mufamadi, a part-owner of Abland.

She recommended President Jacob Zuma take urgent steps against Tlakula.