A group of South African opposition parties Tuesday called on the head of the electoral commission to step down over alleged mismanagement, just five weeks before crucial general elections. After a meeting of 10 political parties in Pretoria, eight of them agreed that Pansy Tlakula, chairwoman of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), "must resign immediately." "Should she refuse to resign, the parties who are in agreement will pursue legal action," they said in a statement.
parties claim the integrity of the electoral commission was at stake
after a recent audit found flaws in the procurement of one of the
commission's offices."It is important that a body with the
international reputation of the IEC should not have a whiff of scandal
about it," said anti-apartheid stalwart and successful businesswoman
Mamphela Ramphele, who leads the Agang party. However, the main
opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) and the smaller centre-right Freedom
Front Plus distanced themselves from the call.
Piet Uys of the
Freedom Front Plus said forcing the chief elections organiser out now
could affect the running of May 7 elections."We believe she is doing a good job," said Uys. Tlakula attended the parties meeting but recused herself when her future was discussed.