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SA National Assembly Speaker Takes ‘Special Leave’ Amid Corruption Allegations

RESPONDING to mounting corruption allegations and swirling media speculation surrounding her potential arrest, Speaker of the South African National Assembly, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, declared her decision to take ‘special leave’ from her position effective immediately.

‘I have decided to take special leave from my position as Speaker of the National Assembly,’ Mapisa-Nqakula stated in a press release on Thursday evening, emphasizing the gravity of the allegations and the intense media scrutiny.

‘No formal notification of an arrest warrant or communication regarding an imminent arrest for me,’ Mapisa-Nqakula asserted, indicating her willingness to cooperate with legal proceedings.


As reports suggested an imminent arrest following a raid by a special investigations unit on her Johannesburg residence earlier this week, Mapisa-Nqakula’s decision to step aside coincides with mounting legal pressure. The allegations stem from her tenure as Minister of Defence between 2016 and 2019, involving the purported solicitation of a 2.3 million rand ($122,284) cash bribe.

‘I hope this statement clarifies my position, reaffirms my commitment to upholding the integrity of my office, and demonstrates my full cooperation with the legal process,’ Mapisa-Nqakula affirmed, underscoring her dedication to preserving parliamentary integrity.

Confirming her absence from the planned Inter-Parliamentary Union Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland, Mapisa-Nqakula cited an impending overseas trip, further distancing herself from parliamentary duties amidst the unfolding investigation.

In response to the raid, the South African parliament echoed the Speaker’s innocence, highlighting her cooperation during the search, which lasted over five hours. However, neither the parliament nor the National Prosecution Authority provided additional details on the investigation or potential charges against Mapisa-Nqakula.

A seasoned member of the African National Congress (ANC), Mapisa-Nqakula served as South Africa’s defence minister from 2012 to 2021, her current predicament casting a shadow over her political legacy.

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