Home South African Corruption-accused Speaker Mapisa-Nqakula resigns

Corruption-accused Speaker Mapisa-Nqakula resigns

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Embattled National Assembly Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula has resigned following weeks of speculation over her future amid threats of arrest by the National Prosecuting Authority’s Investigating Directorate.

Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula has resigned. Picture: Phando Jikelo, Independent Newspapers

EMBATTLED National Assembly Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula has resigned following weeks of speculation over her future amid threats of arrest by the National Prosecuting Authority’s Investigating Directorate.

Mapisa-Nqakula is ensnared in a R2.3 million graft scandal originating from when she served as defence minister.

According to prosecutors, Mapisa-Nqakula allegedly solicited R2.3 million in bribes and gratifications from a fraud-accused businesswoman who reportedly received R210 million in defence contracts.

On Tuesday, the High Court in Pretoria struck off the roll her urgent application to interdict the National Director of Public Prosecutions, Shamila Batohi, Police Minister Bheki Cele and investigators from arresting her for the alleged graf.

Late on Wednesday, Mapisa-Nqakula said she had decided to quit to allow all legal processes to unfold.

However, she said her resignation was not an admission of guilt.

Mapisa-Nqakula submitted her resignation letter to acting Speaker Lechesa Tsenoli on Wednesday.

“My resignation is in no way an indication or admission of guilt regarding the allegations being levelled against me. I have made this decision in order to uphold the integrity and sanctity of our Parliament, an apex institution of our system of government, representing the people of South Africa as a whole.

“The position of the Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of South Africa is critical in the reconstruction and development of our country. Given the seriousness of the much-publicised allegations against me, I cannot continue in this role.

“As a country’s chief lawmaker, I hold a central responsibility to protect and preserve the integrity of Parliament by ensuring that my actions ensure that its sacred work must continue without blemish,” she said in her letter to the acting Speaker.

The NPA has accused Mapisa-Nqakula of receiving millions in bribes from one of the contractors in the department of defence when she was minister.

Mapisa-Nqakula served in the defence ministry until 2021 when she was appointed Speaker.

She succeeded Thandi Modise as Speaker, who was appointed minister of defence by President Cyril Ramaphosa.

United Democratic Movement leader Bantu Holomisa first raised alarm bells in 2019 when he asked the joint standing committee on defence to investigate allegations of corruption against Mapisa-Nqakula.

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