Home South African State makes U-turn in Mapisa-Nqakula case, says not sufficient evidence to pursue...

State makes U-turn in Mapisa-Nqakula case, says not sufficient evidence to pursue second suspect

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In the last court appearance, in April, the State placed it on record that the former Speaker would appear with a co-accused. On Tuesday, she cut a lone figure in the dock.

Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula appeared before the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court on charges of corruption and money laundering. Picture: Screengrab

THE EMBATTLED former Speaker of Parliament, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, has appeared before the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court on multiple charges of corruption.

Following a brief appearance in court on Tuesday, the case was postponed to July 9, where Mapisa-Nqakula will be served with an indictment to appear in the high court.

Speaking to journalists in court, shortly after the court session, the Investigating Directorate (ID) of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said that at this stage, Mapisa-Nqakula remains the only accused person in the case.

In the last court appearance, in April, the State placed it on record that the former Speaker would appear with a co-accused. On Tuesday, she cut a lone figure in the dock.

A spokesperson for the ID, Henry Mamothame, explained that the evidence before them was not sufficient to pursue any other person.

“We had to engage the evidence before us. Remember it was only one charge of money laundering. After further engagement between our investigators and our prosecution team, the ID decided not to pursue the second accused,” he said.

“This is based on the fact that the evidence before us was not sufficient for us to pursue the second accused person.”

The Investigative Directorate however insists that it has sufficient evidence to prosecute Mapisa-Nqakula.

“We are here (Pretoria Magistrate’s Court) to serve an indictment and to get a high court date. We feel that the matter has to go to the high court owing to its serious nature,” said Mamothame.

The court has extended Mapisa-Nqakula’s R50,000 bail to July 9 on the same conditions.

The former minister of defence was in April released on R50,000 bail after she appeared in a packed Pretoria Magistrate’s Court.

The State had requested that bail be set at R100,000. However, Mapisa-Nqakula pleaded with the court, stating that she was now a pensioner and could only afford a maximum of R50,000.

As part of the bail conditions, the court ordered that Mapisa-Nqakula hand over her passport to investigators, which she did.

She was also ordered not to contact the State’s witnesses – directly or indirectly.

The much-anticipated court appearance came hours after Mapisa-Nqakula handed herself over to police at the Lyttelton police station in Tshwane on April 4.

The prosecution team stated that the charges against Mapisa-Nqakula are 12 counts of corruption under Preca (Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act) and one of money laundering under Poca (Prevention of Organised Crime Act) for soliciting R4.5 million from a defence contractor.

The State’s case is that despite soliciting R4.5 million, Mapisa-Nqakula received R2.1 million and the prosecution told the court that it knows “what the money received was used for”.

The former minister of defence and military veterans is facing multiple charges of corruption, stemming from a high-profile investigation into her affairs when she presided over South Africa’s military.

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