Tlakula's fate in Parliament's hands

The IEC chair's removal was recommended by the Electoral Court in a scathing judgment.

FILE: IEC Chairperson Pansy Tlakula. Picture: Sebabatso Mosamo/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) chairperson Pansy Tlakula's future will now be decided by the National Assembly after her removal was recommended by the Electoral Court in a scathing judgment which found her guilty of unlawful conduct.

The court found Tlakula's role in the R320 million lease for the IEC's new headquarters in Centurion in 2009 undermined the integrity of the commission.

This was due to her conflicting relationship with a man who owns shares in the company that was eventually awarded the contract.

The IEC has has not yet commented on the matter saying it will first study the judgment.

The ANC says it will also wait for the matter to be referred to the National Assembly before weighing in, although it's unclear when that will happen.

Justice Lotter Wepener was scathing in his findings against the advocate describing her assertion that she made an honest mistake as an afterthought.

He said her behaviour impaired public confidence in the impartiality of the IEC.

He also accused Tlakula of trying to justify something which couldn't be explained.

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

She found Tlakula guilty of maladministration and failing to disclose her relationship with Thaba Mufamadi, a part-owner of Abland.

Shortly before the 7 May elections, five political parties launched an application at the Electoral Court to have Tlakula removed from her post.

The matter was postponed after it was found that a decision could not be made before the nation went to the polls.