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'Tlakula's resignation was long overdue'

Tlakula resigned on Tuesday, after the Electoral Court said Parliament must recommend her removal.

IEC Chairperson Pansy Tlakula addresses farm workers in Benoni, Johannesburg, 22 January 2014. Picture: Sapa.

JOHANNESBURG - United Democratic Movement (UDM) leader Bantu Holomisa says, advocate Pansy Tlakula's resignation from the post of Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) chair is long overdue.

Holomisa lodged the original complaint with Public Protector Thuli Madonsela, which led to a finding of misconduct in a headquarters leasing scandal.

Tlakula resigned on Tuesday, after the Electoral Court said Parliament must recommend her removal.

The now former IEC head has always claimed she did not personally benefit from the commission's granting a contract to her business partner.

Holomisa claims Tlakula only hung on for so long because she had political support.

"Because of the backing she received from the African National Congress (ANC), she got big-headed, thinking that we cannot appeal to other institutions. She should have done this immediately after it was in the open."

While the Democratic Alliance (DA)'s Mike Moriarty says this resignation is probably good news.

"Pansy Tlakula has done the right thing. Clearly she's exhausted all the avenues that were available to her in the wake of the Public Protector's report."

He says the right person is now needed to take over.

"Somebody who is of stature, who understand elections and understands electoral law. And somebody who is firm to stand up against bullying."

Tlakula had been widely praised for her running of the IEC until the headquarters leasing scandal erupted.

And as the IEC says it's still able to run the 2016 local government elections as the search now begins for Tlakula's replacement.

The commission says it's still confident of its ability to run the 2016 elections.

IEC deputy chairperson Terry Tselane says, "We want everybody, the political parties, as well as people in the organisation, to focus on the 2016 local government elections."

Tlakula had run several elections as chief electoral officer before she became its chair.

She is currently out of the country.

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