Mapisa-Nqakula safe at home with her family, says speaker’s office

The Office of the National Assembly Speaker, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, has confirmed that she has not handed herself over to the police and that no arrest was effected, as alleged by media reports.

The speaker is accused of corruption and money-laundering running into millions of rands.

It was reported on Friday morning that she had handed herself over to the police in Pretoria and was preparing to appear in court.

However, according to her office, Mapisa-Nqakula is at home with her family.

Reports are fabrications

“The news seems to have even been sparked by an X account post by the leader of the UDM, Mr Bantu Holomisa, in the early hours of this morning,” said the office of Mapisa-Nqakula.

“These reports are simply not true and a fabrication by Mr Holomisa, who simply published these untruths without caring to verify the true facts or the harm that it does to the name of others.

“It is concerning that the media houses running with the story do not apply a better test to determine the veracity of rumours that they receive before publishing.

“This is a growing trend in South African media and the practice unfortunately not only undermines the rights of the victims of this gossip reporting, but also makes a mockery of the independence, integrity and professionalism of our media.”

Mapisa-Nqakula’s office explained further: “We can confirm that the speaker and her family are at home and that she has had no interaction with the NPA ID [National Prosecuting Authority’s investigative directorate] since the search and seizure operation at her house on Tuesday, March 19.

Court papers filed

“We can also confirm that this morning, the speaker filed papers in court challenging the manner in which the search-and-seizure warrant was obtained and the operation itself.

“She also demands, within her rights, that she be given full disclosure of all material information relating to the case, including the full docket, in order to be able to prepare her defence against what she regards as baseless allegations against her.”

In the morning, Sunday World visited Mapisa-Nqakula’s home in Bruma, east of Johannesburg, and spotted a few neighbours who refused to speak to this publication

Said one neighbour: I am not going to say much in regard to this scandal. It’s a sensitive matter. I cannot even be seen talking to people, as that will be seen as sharing information.”

However, a source in the government’s security cluster said: “The speaker is in the house, and she has not been arrested as per the reports.

“She is here with her husband [Charles Nqakula], and this thing about her being arrested is a lie.”

She cannot be arrested just like that

An ANC national executive committee member, who refused to be identified, said: There is no way for her to be arrested just like that. She has roped in her lawyers to fight for her, as she believes that she is being targeted.

“This whole thing has anything to do with the forthcoming elections to discredit the ANC.”

Mapisa-Nqakula and her special advisor, Mike Ramagoma, did not respond to Sunday World’s phone calls.

The investigative directorate previously conducted a search-and-seizure operation at Mapisa-Nqakula’s home.

Due to the nature and severity of the allegations against her, Mapisa-Nqakula announced on Thursday that she had taken special leave.

These developments come at a crucial time when the ANC is battling to maintain its support ahead of the national elections on May 29.

Political analyst Matlala Setlhalogile stated that such accusations against prominent ANC members are common and not surprising to South Africans.

The potential arrest of Mapisa-Nqakula is significant as it may create a perception of action being taken against serious allegations of wrongdoing, highlighting a broader issue of corruption within the ANC, Setlhalogile said.

Deviation from the norm

He said the reported imminent arrest of the speaker would deviate from the norm regarding the treatment of ANC leaders accused of corruption, but it is unlikely to significantly impact the ruling party’s image, as it has become synonymous with corruption.

“The issue was encapsulated by [President Cyril] Ramaphosa’s remarks in his August 2020 letter to ANC members after his Zondo commission testimony, when he opined that the corruption allegations against the ANC and its leaders render the ANC accused number one in corruption allegations,” said Setlhalogile.

“This signified the synonymous nature of the ANC with corruption. The major issue here is her potential arrest, something that happens only in a few instances against prominent ANC members.

“So, it might not be so much the allegations, but her ultimate arrest actually means something — maybe creating a perception of action against the serious allegations.”

According to Setlhalogile, the functioning of parliament is unlikely to be affected, as a deputy speaker is available, however, this situation provides ammunition for opposition parties in their campaigning ahead of elections.

Parliament is unlikely to be impacted

“The functioning of parliament should not be impacted as the Nation Assembly rules make provision for special leave and there is a deputy speaker to fulfil presiding officers’ duties,” according to Setlhalogile.

“With the National Assembly heading into the constituency period at the beginning of April and elections taking place a little over a month after that, parliament is unlikely to be impacted.

“In terms of the broader political landscape, this has given opposition parties more ammunition in their campaigning.”


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