South Africa

South African Police Raid Parliament Speaker’s Home in Corruption Probe

South African Police Raid Parliament Speaker’s Home in Corruption Probe

A specialized unit within South Africa’s police force conducted a raid on the residence of Parliament’s speaker, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, in Johannesburg following allegations of corruption. Mapisa-Nqakula has been accused of seeking bribes in exchange for granting contracts during her tenure as defense minister.

“The Speaker steadfastly upholds her strong conviction of innocence,” said a statement from parliament.

The police unit, acting on behalf of state prosecutors conducting an investigation, raided the Johannesburg home of Parliament’s speaker, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula. A statement from parliament revealed that the police carried out a “search and seizure procedure” at Ms. Mapisa-Nqakula’s residence, with her welcoming the investigators and fully cooperating during the five-hour search.

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A veteran of the anti-apartheid struggle at 67 years old, Ms. Mapisa-Nqakula assumed the role of speaker in 2021 after serving as defense minister for nine years. Allegations suggest that during her time as defense minister, she solicited funds totaling $120,000 (£96,000) from a company owner to secure a tender for transporting army equipment within Africa, as reported by Business Day newspaper.

“Therefore, she is profoundly disturbed by such allegations.”

In a brief statement, the National Prosecuting Authority confirmed the search operation, but gave no other details and did not say when or whether any charges would be brought.

President Cyril Ramaphosa, elected in 2018 with a commitment to combat corruption, inherited a legacy of alleged misappropriation of state resources by his predecessor, Jacob Zuma. Zuma has consistently denied these accusations.

Despite her own stated beliefs that corruption undermines democratic principles and good governance, Ms. Mapisa-Nqakula now finds herself at the center of a corruption probe, highlighting ongoing challenges in combating corruption in South Africa.

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