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Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula: South Africa parliament speaker turns herself into police

In World
April 04, 2024

South Africa’s Speaker of Parliament Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula has handed herself over to police a day after she resigned over corruption allegations.

Ms Mapisa-Nqakula arrived at a police station in Centurion, 40km (24 miles) from Johannesburg on Thursday.

She is due to make her first court appearance at Pretoria Magistrate’s Court on charges of corruption.

The politician is accused of soliciting bribes in return for awarding contracts during her time as defence minister.

After weeks of investigations, xMs Mapisa-Nqakula resigned on Wednesday, saying the move wasn’t an “indication or admission of guilt”.

She said given the “seriousness” of the probe she could not continue her role.

She has previously denied any wrongdoing.

Last month a special police unit raided her Johannesburg home in connection with the corruption investigation.

The 67-year-old veteran of the anti-apartheid struggle became speaker in 2021. Before that, she served as defence minister for seven years.

Last week, Ms Mapisa-Nqakula’s lawyers filed a request for a court order to prevent her arrest, saying it would infringe on her dignity.

On Tuesday, judges rejected her bid on the basis that the matter was not urgent and they could not speculate on an arrest that was yet to happen.

Ms Mapisa-Nqakula is accused of making several demands for money, amounting to $120,000 (£96,000), from the owner of a company to secure a tender to transport army equipment back to South Africa from elsewhere on the continent, the Business Day newspaper reports.

The resignation comes ahead of next month’s general election, which some believe could be difficult for the governing African National Congress (ANC).

The party, which has been in power since 1994, has faced repeated allegations of corruption and mismanagement of public funds, which have become a key election issue.

More South Africa stories from the BBC:

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