After 30 years as member of National Assembly, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula leaves a trail of destruction in her wake

Former Speaker of Parliament, Nosiviwe Mapisa Nqakula. Picture: OUPA MOKOENA/INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS

Former Speaker of Parliament, Nosiviwe Mapisa Nqakula. Picture: OUPA MOKOENA/INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS

Published Apr 6, 2024


30 years as a member of the National Assembly, of those two years as Speaker, embattled Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula has left a trail of destruction allegedly pocketing millions of rands of the taxpayers’ money.

Despite being appointed in the top positions of the government by the ruling ANC since 1994, Mapisa-Nqakula’s political career has been marred by allegations of corruption and abuse of power.

Speculations are doing the rounds that Mapisa-Nqakula, the embattled former National Assembly Speaker, was only asked by the ANC to resign to save face during an election period.

Mapisa-Nqakula was granted R50 000 bail by the Pretoria Magistrate’s court on Thursday. She appeared to face charges of corruption and money laundering following her handing herself over to the Lyttelton police station in Centurion on the same day.

Her bail conditions were for her to surrender her passport to the investigating officer and she should have no direct or indirect contact with State witnesses.

Mapisa-Nqakula is facing 12 charges of corruption and one of money laundering following investigations into allegations of soliciting an amount of approximately R4.5 million, of which R2.1m was received in cash when she was defence minister from 2016 to 2019.

Before then, her Bruma family house was raided nu the ID in the middle of March.

Reports said several designer bags and expensive wigs were seized during the raid.

During the raids, the members of the Investigating Directorate (ID) had it tough while conducting their work, according to reports.

A source, after the raids, claimed that a Louis Vuitton bag containing a large amount of money was discovered at the residence.

She resigned on Wednesday this week, a day after she lost her bid to interdict her arrest.

Mapisa-Nqakula is no stranger to controversy. The Sunday Independent previously reported that in 2021, the DA urged President Cyril Ramaphosa to institute an urgent Special Investigating Unit (SIU) investigation into allegations that Mapisa-Nqakula wasted millions of taxpayers’ rand on chartered flights and luxury accommodation.

Independent Media previously reported that in 2016, Mapisa-Nqakula allegedly smuggled a Burundian national into South Africa on board an SA Air Force jet.

Reports were rife that the woman’s father said his daughter had been set to marry Mapisa-Nqakula’s late son, Chumani Nqakula, secretly.

Chumani Nqakula was stabbed to death in Johannesburg, allegedly by his friend, Carlos Higuera, in 2015.

It was reported that Mapisa-Nqakula had allegedly organised a false passport for the 22-year-old Burundian woman to travel to South Africa with her in 2014.

The Star’s sister newspaper reported in 2021 that Mapisa-Nqakula allegedly spent:

* R4 million on a chartered flight from Waterkloof Air Force Base in Pretoria to Cairo in Egypt in April 2019.

* R400 000 on a five-day stay in the Marriott Essex House, a luxury hotel overlooking Central Park in New York, in September 2019.

* R350 000 in November 2019 for a six-day stay at the Hotel Du Collectionneur Arc de Triomphe in Paris, France, for her and three departmental attachés. And an Avis transport bill of nearly R150 000.

* R2.5 million to charter an aircraft to Angola, Guinea, Ghana, and Togo, which bizarrely included a flight from Lanseria International Airport to Cape Town International Airport and one from Waterkloof Air Force Base to Lanseria International Airport, which was within driving distance.

Political analyst Dr Ongama Mtimka, while speaking on national television this week, said that it broke an impasse to make the decision to resign.

“The ANC had the capability to protect her up until she resigned, something that they would not want to do during an election period.

“The step-aside rule was going to be triggered as soon as she was charged. It's an interesting one that things went so fast in the last two weeks that she had been able to offer to the party her resignation. This helped her avoid a protracted mutually damaging battle between the ANC and opposition parties, but also the image of Parliament,” he said.

He added that If the allegations were true they would be forming part of the modus operandi that politicians had established in public office for personal gain .

“It's interesting, because these allegations only surfaced some time ago… and get her at a time when I feel she actually had a redemptive path. I think that she brought some consciousness to legality in Parliament,” he said.

Saturday Star

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