Tlakula's appeal rejected

The Constitutional Court said Tlakula's appeal has no prospects of success and dismissed it with costs.

IEC Chairperson Pansy Tlakula. Picture: Sapa.

JOHANNESBURG - The Constitutional Court has rejected an application for leave to appeal by Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) Chairperson Pansy Tlakula against an Electoral Court ruling that she was unfit to stay in office.

Judges had ruled that she should resign after Public Protector Thuli Madonsela found her guilty of wrong-doing in a headquarters leasing scandal.

In a two sentence order, the Constitutional Court says that Tlakula's appeal has no prospects of success and that it is dismissed with costs.

This means the earlier Electoral Court ruling now stands. 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.

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

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

Last year, 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.