Did Speaker quit to save ANC during election time or was she set up?

Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula during her time as defence minister. Picture: Oupa Mokoena/Independent Newspapers Archives

Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula during her time as defence minister. Picture: Oupa Mokoena/Independent Newspapers Archives

Published Apr 4, 2024


Speculation is rife that embattled former National Assembly speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula was only asked by the ANC to resign to save face during an election period.

Some have asked whether the former defence minister was in this predicament because someone in the higher echelons of the ANC had thrown her under the bus because she had brought some integrity to Parliament.

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

Mapisa-Nqakula is facing 12 charges of corruption and one of money laundering following investigations into allegations she solicited about R4.5 million, of which R2.1m was received in cash during her time as defence minister from 2014 to 2021.

Her Bruma family home was raided by the National Prosecuting Authority’s (NPA) Investigative Directorate (ID) in the middle of March.

Reports said several designer bags and an expensive wig were seized during the raid. According to reports, ID members were also looking for a bear skin “with claws”.

After the raids, a source claimed that a Louis Vuitton bag containing a large amount of money was discovered at the house.

Mapisa-Nqakula’s husband and former police minister and ANC heavyweight, Charles Nqakula allegedly blocked the officers from entering her Indumba (her traditional worship hut) where she would practise as a sangoma.

There was apparently a stand-off between her husband and the police.

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’ rands on chartered flights and luxury accommodation.

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.

On Wednesday night the ANC noted her resignation, saying it valued a commitment to maintain the image and the reputation of the organisation.

However, reports were rife that ANC chief whip and national executive committee (NEC) member Pemmy Majodina were behind Mapisa Nqakula’s woes.

It was previously reported that she expressed her wish for the NPA to charge Mapisa-Nqakula in a leaked text conversation with former Ekurhuleni mayor and NEC member Mzwandile Masina.

Political analyst DR Ongama Mtimka, speaking on national television yesterday, said Mapisa-Nqakula’s decision to resign broke an impasse.

“Had it not happened the ANC had the capability to protect her up until she exits, 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 has been able to offer to the party her resignation – that helps her avoid a protracted mutually damaging battle between the ANC and opposition parties,” he said.

He said 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.

The Star

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