19 March 2014

South Africa: Lease Report 'Does Not Call Me Corrupt' - Tlakula

Photo: South African Government
IEC Chief Electoral Officer Advocate Pansy Tlakula briefs the media (file photo).

Johannesburg — A National Treasury report into the procurement process for the Electoral Commission of SA's (IEC) head office does not accuse chairwoman Pansy Tlakula of corruption, she said on Wednesday.

"Contrary to media reports, the report does not make a finding of corruption or accrual of financial gain against me or any official of the commission," she said in a statement.

The report of the forensic investigation, released on Tuesday, was done by auditors PriceWaterhouseCoopers on behalf of the Treasury on the procurement of the IEC's Riverside Office Park building in Centurion, Pretoria.

The report indicated that the procurement process was not fair, transparent, or cost-effective. It also found that Tlakula did not give guidance or formally inform various people what was expected of them in the process.

Tlakula said: "l reiterate that I have not been involved or found guilty of any criminal or corrupt activity. Thus, any reporting to that effect is without foundation and presumably calculated to impugn my integrity."

She did not want to respond to the report in full until Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, who is the custodian of the report, had addressed issues that she had raised with him relating to the investigation.

The IEC acknowledged and disclosed concerns about non-compliance with procurement prescripts of its own volition in its financial statements for 2010/2011, before any of the probes into the process, she said.

"Where we made mistakes during this process, we disclosed and owned up to them.

"We have learned from those mistakes."

Tlakula said the IEC had already tightened up its procurement processes to ensure full compliance with regulations.

Furthermore, she was satisfied the non-compliance was unintentional and did not set out to secure improper benefit for anyone involved.

The Treasury report followed a recommendation from Public Protector Thuli Madonsela in her own report into the matter, released in August 2013.

Madonsela found Tlakula had played a "grossly irregular" role in procuring the premises.

The complaint against Tlakula to Madonsela was lodged by United Democratic Movement leader Bantu Holomisa. Tlakula was CEO at the time the complaint was lodged.

Tlakula has blasted Madonsela's report, which she said contained "factual errors".

On Wednesday she said her review application seeking to have Madonsela's report reviewed and aspects of it set aside was still pending.

"I put my faith in the legal system and I believe that my name will be cleared at the end of this drawn out process."

She said the timing of the Treasury report release was unfortunate because the IEC preparations for the general elections were at a critical stage.

Ads by Google

Copyright © 2014 South African Press Association. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.

InFocus

S Africa Elections Chief Should Step Down - Court

IEC Chief Electoral Officer Advocate Pansy Tlakula briefs the media (file photo).

The Electoral Court has recommended that the chair of the Electoral Commission, Pansy Tlakula be removed from her position due to misconduct after an application by opposition ... Read more »