Editorials 20.3.2014 09:00 am

IEC may have credibility problems

With mere weeks to go before the May 7 elections, this is not a good time for the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) to be embroiled in controversy.

Yet, despite ample distractions for the media, the IEC remains in the spotlight for the wrong reasons.

In a forensic audit commissioned by the Treasury, PricewaterhouseCoopers(PwC) has found IEC chair Pansy Tlakula behaved inappropriately regarding the tender for the lease of the IEC headquarters.

The PwC report says Tlakula should be held responsible for a process that was not fair, equitable, transparent, or competitive. In doing so it substantially confirms last year’s report on the matter by Public Protector Thuli Madonsela. That earlier report, titled Inappropriate Moves, led Tlakula to ask the North Gauteng High Court for relief. She wants Madonsela’s report reviewed and set aside.

While it is unwise to pre-empt the outcome of court proceedings, the PwC investigation seems to weaken Tlakula’s case. And she is not the only IEC bigwig mentioned. There are also harsh words for Norman du Plessis and John Langtry.

Leaving aside allegations against IEC officials in the Tlokwe debacle, the IEC may have credibility problems. Not good for democracy.

 

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