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By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist


Mapisa-Nqakula asked for state funding in corruption case

Mapisa-Nqakula who is currently out of R50 000 bail is facing 12 counts of corruption involving R4.5 million dating back to when she was defence minister.


Embattled former speaker of the National Assembly, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, allegedly tried to get the South African Defence Force (SANDF) to pay her legal fees in her corruption case.  

It is understood the Head of Legal Service in the South African National Defence Force Major General Eric Mnisi wrote a letter to the State Attorney’s office, without the knowledge of Minister of Defence and Military Veterans Thandi Modise, stating that they were going to pay Mapisa-Nqakula’s legal fees.

The Department of Defence on Friday confirmed Modise received a request by her predecessor on 19 April for the department to assist her with legal representation in her corruption matter.

ALSO READ: Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula granted R50k bail with conditions

Breaking protocols

Modise’s spokesperson Amos Phago said the department is considering Mapisa-Nqakula’s request.

“The request, unfortunately came through the office of Head of Legal Service in the South African National Defence Force Major General Eric Mnisi who then actioned it prior to seeking counsel from either the Minister nor the Secretary of Defence Dr Thobekile Gamede who is also the accounting officer, particularly on matters that have financial implications on the department.

Modise said Mnisi’s handling of the matter without following existing protocols is tantamount to “disrespect of executive authority in the Department of Defence”.

 “I have instructed the Secretary of Defence Dr Gamade to look into General Mnisi’s handling of the matter from an administrative and process point of view as there are protocols that must be followed for such requests.” said Modise.

Phago said Modise is applying her mind on the request by Maphisa-Nqakula and will subject it to the prescripts of the law with the view of protecting public funds.

Corruption

Mapisa-Nqakula is out of R50 000 bail with conditions.

She made her first appearance in the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court earlier this month after handing herself over to police at the Lyttelton Police Station in Tshwane. 

Her court appearance came a few days after the Pretoria High Court dismissed her application to block her arrest for alleged corruption.

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

She announced her resignation as speaker of Parliament on Wednesday evening in a letter to Acting Speaker of the National Assembly Lechesa Tsenoli. The resignation is effective immediately.

The Hawks, acting on behalf of the NPA’s Investigative Directorate (ID), raided Mapisa-Nqakula’s home in Johannesburg last month amid corruption allegations.

ALSO READ: ‘Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula not above the law’ − NPA argues