Former speaker’s corruption case postponed

Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula's corruption charges are related to her tenure as former minister of defence and military veterans.

The Pretoria Magistrate’s Court yesterday postponed the corruption and money laundering case against former Speaker of Parliament Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula to July 9 for a high court date and provision of an indictment.

Henry Mamothame, the spokesperson for the Investigating Directorate (ID), said the department provided her with a full disclosure of the docket and it was further confirmed that a list of state witnesses was provided to her on April 8.

“This was done for her to comply with her bail condition of not having any direct or indirect contact with the state witnesses,” explained Mamothame.

He confirmed she remains the only accused in the case. In her last appearance in court, the state said the former speaker will appear with a co-accused. Mapisa-Nqakula was released in April on R50 000 bail and on the condition she handed over her passport.

She was also ordered not to contact the state’s witnesses.

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

The postponement arrives after Mapisa-Nqakula had handed herself over to the authorities after facing the threat of arrest over graft charges. Mapisa-Nqakula handed herself over at the Lyttelton Police Station in Centurion on April 4 and is facing 12 counts of corruption involving R4.5m dating back to her time as defence minister.

The ID investigated the speaker in connection with allegations that she was paid millions in cash bribes by a defence force contractor.

The investigation found she allegedly received R2.3m in cash delivered in gift bags by defence businessperson Nombasa Ntsondwa-Ndhlovu‚ who is married to a general in the military health service.

Lead prosecutor Advocate Bheki Manyathi said the state did not oppose Mapisa-Nqakula’s bail application due to her medical condition. According to her lawyer, she suffers from hypertension.

Mapisa-Nqakula has resigned as speaker and maintains her resignation is in no way an indication or admission of guilt.

“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.

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