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By Malibongwe Dayimani

Premium Journalist


‘It’s an insult’: Outrage at Mapisa-Nqakula giving ‘terrible prison conditions’ a skip

The SA Prisoners Organisation for Human Rights said granting former Speaker Mapisa-Nqakula bail was 'reckless and unnecessary'.


The Pretoria Magistrate’s Court’s decision to grant bail to former Speaker of the National Assembly Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula based on her plea that she is not suited for the “terrible prison conditions”, is an insult to the 154 000 prisoners languishing in South Africa’s 243 prisons.

This according to the South African Prisoners Organisation for Human Rights (SAPOHR) which advocates for the rights of prisoners in the country.

Mapisa-Nqakula: Former correctional services minister slammed

The group’s president, Miles Budu, lashed out at Mapisa-Nqakula for “failing” to change the state of prisons when she was correctional services minister between 2009 and 2012.

READ: Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula granted R50k bail with conditions

Mapisa-Nqakula ‘provoking and insulting’ prisoners

Speaking to The Citizen on Friday, Budu said: “This is reckless and unnecessary. She is provoking and  insulting the tens of thousands of humans locked up for days, weeks, months and years, on end behind prison bars. We can’t believe the court agreed with this.”

‘Children of a lesser God’

According to Budu, Mapisa-Nqakula implies that those well on their way to prison or already serving their terms inside, “are subhuman beings and are children of a lesser God”.

In a sworn affidavit that the former speaker filed at the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court for her bail application on Thursday this week, Mapisa-Nqakula further claim that the prisons are unsafe, without proper medical care, crime ridden and staffed by “overwhelming” wardens.

The court granted her R50 000 bail.

READ: Past comes back to haunt Mapisa-Nqakula as speaker investigated for R2.3m bribes

Speaker faces 12 counts of fraud

She faces 12 counts of corruption and one of money laundering, involving more than R4 million.

The charges stem from her tenure as defence minister between 2012 and 2021 when she allegedly received multiple millions in kickbacks.

She allegedly solicited the money from a contractor of the department, Umkhombe Marine-owned by SA National Defence Force (SANDF) General Noel Ndhlovu’s wife Nombasa Ntsondwa-Ndhlovu.   

“Remember she was once upon a time one of the many ministers of correctional services, politically deployed to the department where she did nothing besides living a lavish life,” Budu fumed.

NOW READ: Mapisa-Nqakula stands alone as ANC leaders keep away