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Former South African Speaker Surrenders To Police On Corruption Charges

IN a dramatic turn of events, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, the former South African National Assembly speaker, surrendered herself to police near Pretoria on Thursday, as she prepares to face corruption charges that have rocked the nation’s political landscape.

Mapisa-Nqakula, who resigned from her leadership position and parliament on Wednesday amidst ongoing corruption investigations, is accused of accepting bribes totalling about $240,000 from contractors during her tenure as defence minister—a claim vehemently denied by the 67-year-old.

Having ascended to the role of speaker in 2021 after serving nearly a decade as defence chief, Mapisa-Nqakula now finds herself at the centre of a high-profile corruption case, which she insists is politically motivated.


Expected to make her appearance in the dock at the Pretoria Magistrates Court, Mapisa-Nqakula’s resignation came with a firm assertion of innocence. In her resignation letter, she declared, ‘My resignation is in no way an indication or admission of guilt regarding the allegations being levelled against me.’ She cited the need to uphold the integrity of parliament as the primary reason for stepping down.

Earlier attempts to halt her arrest through a court application were unsuccessful, with Judge Sulet Potterill asserting that granting such relief would set an unfavourable precedent. The judge emphasised that Mapisa-Nqakula had been afforded the opportunity to surrender—a privilege rarely extended to accused individuals.

Mapisa-Nqakula’s resignation was met with mixed reactions from opposition parties. While some welcomed her decision, others demanded swift legal action.

‘We have long called for this resignation when allegations of corruption and money laundering were levelled against her. We believe that anyone who holds this high office should be beyond reproach, and Ms Mapisa-Nqakula is not suited for it,’ said the Democratic Alliance in a statement Wednesday night.

Similarly, the Economic Freedom Fighters party called for her immediate arrest and prosecution, stressing the urgency of addressing corruption within the government. ‘We call for swift action to be taken and prosecute her and all those implicated in corruption,’ the party asserted.

As the former speaker prepares to face the judicial process, the unfolding case underscores the challenges facing South Africa’s political establishment in combating corruption and maintaining public trust in its institutions.


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