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HomeNewsSouth Africa's Speaker Steps Down Amid Graft Claims, Surrenders

South Africa’s Speaker Steps Down Amid Graft Claims, Surrenders

South Africa’s Speaker Steps Down Amid Graft Claims, Surrenders

On Wednesday, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, the beleaguered speaker of South Africa’s National Assembly, resigned from her position. The following morning, she turned herself into the police, a move that could signal the resolution of a crisis within her political party, the African National Congress (ANC).

However, her challenges are just starting. Scheduled for Thursday, she was set to attend the Specialised Commercial Crime Court in Pretoria, facing corruption allegations linked to an alleged R4 million bribe.

Ms. Mapisa-Nqakula presented herself at the Lyttelton police station in Centurion, situated to the north of Johannesburg, on Thursday morning to surrender to the investigating authorities.

Henry Mamothame, spokesperson for the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), verified that Ms. Mapisa-Nqakula is scheduled to appear in the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court for her initial court appearance.

She stands accused of allegedly seeking over R4 million [US$215,000] in bribes from a former contractor of the Department of Defence, purportedly in exchange for government contracts. The said contractor has now turned into a prosecution witness.

It is highly probable that Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, the senior figure within South Africa’s governing African National Congress (ANC) party, may face accusations of corruption and bribery totaling 12 charges, stemming from her time as Minister of Defence.

In response to increasing scrutiny regarding corruption accusations, Ms. Mapisa-Nqakula stepped down from her roles as Speaker of the National Assembly and Member of Parliament (MP) on Wednesday evening.


Nevertheless, Mrs. Mapisa-Nqakula emphasized that her decision to resign does not imply an acknowledgment of guilt concerning the corruption accusations leveled against her. She asserts her innocence and expresses her resolve to reclaim her reputation.

Ms. Mapisa-Nqakula’s resignation follows a decision by a judge at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria to reject her immediate request to prevent her arrest, occurring just a day prior.

“I have taken this deliberate decision to devote my time and focus to dealing with the recently announced investigation against me by our country’s law enforcement agencies,” said Ms Mapisa-Nqakula.

“My resignation is in no way an indication or admission of guilt about the allegations made against me. I have taken this decision to uphold the integrity and sanctity of our Parliament, an apex institution of our system of government, which represents the people of South Africa as a whole.

“Given the seriousness of the well-publicized allegations against me, I cannot continue in this role. As the country’s chief lawmaker, I have a central responsibility to protect and uphold the integrity of Parliament by ensuring that my actions ensure that its sacred work continues untainted.

“I believe that at the appropriate time, I will have the opportunity to thoroughly address these allegations, once they have been formally made against me in the appropriate forums, and at that time I will clear my good name.”

South Africa’s Speaker Steps Down Amid Graft Claims, Surrenders