South Africa’s ex-parliament speaker Mapisa-Nqakula arrested in graft probe

Leah TwakiApril 4, 202412 min

Mapisa-Nqakula has been arrested for soliciting hefty bribes from a former military contractor during her tenure as defence minister.

Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula arrested over graft probe
South Africa’s ex-speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula

South Africa’s political landscape was rocked on Thursday as Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, the former parliament speaker, was arrested amid a corruption inquiry, marking the latest blow to the African National Congress (ANC) party just ahead of the upcoming May elections.

Mapisa-Nqakula’s arrest came shortly after she resigned from her speaker position on Wednesday, surrendering herself to authorities near Pretoria. 

 According to Henry Mamothame, spokesman for the National Prosecuting Authority, she faces charges of corruption and money laundering and is set to appear before a judge at the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court.

Coming just under two months before national elections, the case has added to the woes of the ANC, which is grappling with low opinion polls due to economic struggles and allegations of corruption and mismanagement.

The 67-year-old stands accused of soliciting substantial bribes from a former military contractor during her tenure as defence minister, a charge she vehemently denies. Her resignation as speaker and lawmaker came swiftly after she lost a court battle to prevent her potential arrest.

In her resignation letter, she maintained her innocence but cited the need to preserve the integrity of parliament and focus on defending herself against the allegations.

“Given the seriousness of the much-publicised allegations against me, I cannot continue in this role,” she wrote.

Local media reports said she had allegedly solicited 2.3 million rand ($121,000) in bribes from a former military contractor.

Parliament said her deputy, Lechesa Tsenoli, would replace her but the leading opposition party, the Democratic Alliance, called for a new speaker to be urgently elected.

Mapisa-Nqakula served as defence minister between 2014 and 2021 before being appointed speaker in a move that drew much criticism from the opposition.

Leah Twaki

A Chemistry graduate, excels as a social media manager, digital journalist, and content creator with an interdisciplinary skills blend of science and communication.

One comment

  • GODWIN

    April 6, 2024 at 9:47 am

    Leaders without tomorrow is what we have in Africa

    Reply

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