The chairperson of the Democratic Alliance federal executive, James Selfe, says the call for the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) chairperson Pansy Tlakula to resign is irresponsible.
This follows an urgent application filed in the Electoral Court on Thursday by opposition parties led by the United Democratic Movement (UDM) leader, Bantu Holomisa for Tlakula to step down. They had given Tlakula until the close of business on Monday to respond to their call.
Selfe says, “The IEC is involved in its investigation and when its own investigation is completed, it will then be in a position to present any evidence it has to the Electoral Court.”
On Wednesday, the Freedom Front Plus (FF Plus) also said it was unwise to call for the resignation of Tlakula ahead of the elections.
Earlier this month, the parties said they were worried about the credibility of the May 7 elections. This after last month’s forensic investigation by auditors PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PWC), on behalf of the National Treasury on the procurement of the IEC’s Riverside Office Park building in Centurion, Pretoria, found that the process was neither 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 has maintained that the report did not accuse her of corruption.
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. She recommended that Parliament consider taking action against Tlakula.
Parties calling for her resignation were the UDM, the African Christian Democratic Party, the Congress of the People, Agang SA and the Economic Freedom Fighters.
The Inkatha Freedom Party was originally named on the list of opposition parties but on Monday said it was not part of the group. The Azanian People’s Organisation (Azapo) and the United Christian Democratic Party (UCDP) were also initially part of the group but were not listed as applicants on the court papers.
Agang SA and the EFF had both indicated that they were still supporting the call for Tlakula to resign. The African National Congress (ANC) on Tuesday said the call for Tlakula to resign was not genuine and based on the desire by some parties to delegitimise the elections. –Additional reporting by Sapa
Click below to listen to Chairperson of the Democratic Alliance (DA) Federal Executive, James Selfe.
– By Sthembiso Sithole