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By Vhahangwele Nemakonde

Digital Deputy News Editor


Defence dept rejects Mapisa-Nqakula’s request for legal assistance in corruption case

The department's policy does not allow them to provide Mapisa-Nqakula with legal representation.


The department of defence has rejected former minister of defence and military veterans Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula’s request for legal representation in her corruption case.

Nqakula-Mapisa made the request last month following her appearance in the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court after handing herself over to police at the Lyttelton Police Station in Tshwane.

ALSO READ: Mapisa-Nqakula asked for state funding in corruption case

The court granted Mapisa-Nqakula R50 000 bail with conditions.

She is facing 12 counts of corruption involving R4.5 million dating back to when she was defence minister.

Briefing the media on the department of defence’s matters on Sunday, Minister Thandi Modise said the department could not assist her predecessor.

“As to the matter of the former minister of defence’s application for legal assistance, the matter has received attention from ourselves,” said Modise.

ALSO READ: SANDF dismisses claims of mineral interests in DR Congo deployment

“We then looked at the provisions in the law whether we can accede or not to such a request and we found that in terms of section 6.2 of the state legal representative policy that we cannot help the former minister and therefore, we will not be doing so.”

‘Defence department not perfect’

Reflecting on the performance of the department, Modise said although “not perfect”, the department had made some achievements locally and internationally.

“We have done a number of good things, we’re not perfect. I think we’ve done well, exceedingly well in gender representation. I think we have done very well in when you look at what we have done on the international space,” she said.

“We have undertaken a number of missions – some reluctantly, some a must. Some of them have been such that we have had a national defence force that has had an all-round experience.

ALSO READ: Ntshavheni affirms SANDF’s capabilities amid funding challenges

“We’re in the DRC, we’re still in Mozambique, we’ve been in CAR, and Burundi. We have started off with a very quick one in Lesotho , we have also undertaken a number of disaster missions. Mozambique again comes up and Zimbabwe. So, we , on the international side, I think we have done well.”

However, the deployment of the SANDF in the DRC has not been without criticism from experts and political parties, who have called for the force’s withdrawal from the area.

President Cyril Ramaphosa deployed at least 2 900 SANDF soldiers to provide support in combating illicit armed factions in eastern DRC.

He said the deployment was to fulfil the country’s obligation towards the Southern African Development Community (SADC) mission to that country.

ALSO READ: Ramaphosa says SANDF has ‘military hardware’ for operations in DRC

So far, two soldiers have lost their lives in the region, while three more sustained severe injuries after a mortar bomb landed inside one of the South African Contingent’s military bases.