Parliament denies Mapisa-Nqakula arrest

 ·22 Mar 2024

Parliament has denied media reports that National Assembly Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula has been arrested and was set to appear in the Specialised Commercial Crimes Court in Pretoria.

In a statement released on Friday (22 March), parliament said that “we can confirm that the Speaker and her family are at home and that she has had no interaction with the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) Investigating Directorate since the Search and Seizure operation at her house on Tuesday, the 19th of March 2024.”

Hours after the speaker announced on Thursday (21 March) that she was taking ‘special leave,’ from her position amid corruption allegations, she filed papers in the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria challenging the manner in which a search and seizure warrant was obtained against her, as well as the operation itself.

According to Mapisa-Nqakula, she was not given access to the supporting affidavit used to justify the search and seizure warrant, further claiming that investigators subsequently entered her home without her consent.

Mapisa-Nqakula’s court papers request the disclosure of all material information relating to the case against her, including the entire docket, to prepare her defence.

The embattled speaker also requested that the NPA provide her with more the details of the case against her, saying that this information had already been given to the media and not her.

Additionally, the papers seek a court interdict to prevent an arrest, arguing that she should rather be summonsed to court.

“I am a senior person and the respondents rushing me into a police cell for reasons other than that I am a flight risk, is a threat to my health and life,” said Mapisa-Nqakula in court papers.


Mapisa-Nqakula became the first speaker in democratic South Africa to take special leave from heading the legislative sphere of state amid reports of a looming arrest as a result of allegedly soliciting bribes and taking 10 cash payments totaling more than R2.3 million from an unnamed whistleblower between 2016 and 2019, when she was the minister of defence.

These allegations include that she accepted large sums of cash from the owner of a company that was contracted by the South African National Defence Force to transport cargo for military missions – Umkhombe Marine.

On 19 March, Mapisa-Nqakula’s Johannesburg home was raided by the National Prosecuting Authority’s Investigating Directorate.

Reports emerged that her arrest was imminent.

However, in a statement by Mapisa-Nqakula, she said that “I wish to place it on record, that while the Investigative Directorate of the National Prosecution Authority conducted a search and seizure at my residence, there has been no formal notification of an arrest warrant or communication regarding an imminent arrest for me, neither to me nor my legal team.”

“My lawyers have, however, proactively informed the National Prosecution Authority of my readiness to comply and cooperate should the need arise,” she added.

Read: Speaker of the National Assembly Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula steps aside with immediate effect

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