As part of their continuing investigation into alleged corruption, the Investigating Directorate stated on Tuesday that they had raided the Johannesburg home of Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, the speaker of the National Assembly.

By Staff Reporter

The Investigating Directorate (ID) has been investigating serious allegations of corruption against Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, who previously served as the Minister of Defence.

The investigation has been ongoing for several months and focuses on allegations that she accepted substantial amounts of cash from the owner of Umkhombe Marine.

Umkhombe was contracted by the South African National Defence Force to transport cargo for military missions.

According to recent reports, Mapisa-Nqakula is accused of allegedly misappropriating a sum exceeding R2 million from Nombasa Ntsondwa-Ndhlovu, who serves as the chief executive officer of Umkhombe Marine. Ntsondwa-Ndhlovu is married to a senior official in the military health service.

“The National Prosecuting Authority’s ID confirms that a search and seizure operation was carried out at the home of the speaker of parliament, Ms Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, by members of the ID on 19 March 2024 relating to an investigation against her,” NPA spokesperson Mthunzi Mhaga said.

On Tuesday afternoon, Parliament released a statement about the raid, stating that the speaker had cooperated with the officers who searched her private residence. As a result, she could not chair the afternoon session of the National Assembly, during which President Cyril Ramaphosa was responding to questions from Members of Parliament.

“The speaker steadfastly upholds her strong conviction of innocence and reaffirms that she has nothing to hide. In line with this, she has welcomed investigators into her home, cooperating fully during the extensive search that lasted over five hours,” read the statement.

A fortnight ago, Mapisa-Nqakula denied any misconduct and criticised the ID’s handling of the investigation. Her office expressed disapproval of the way the investigation was carried out and publicised by the media, emphasising the importance of conducting such investigations with thoroughness and adherence to due process.

Following Sunday’s press coverage of the investigation, her office said: “The speaker believes investigations of this nature ought to be conducted with the utmost diligence and respect for due process, and accordingly, finds the manner in which this purported investigation has been conducted and shared with the media highly objectionable.”

Earlier this month, Siviwe Gwarube, the chief whip of the Democratic Alliance, urged the joint committee on ethics and members’ interests in parliament to look into the corruption accusations. She expressed concern that these allegations against the speaker could undermine parliament’s credibility and oversight of the executive branch.

Gwarube raised the stakes on Tuesday by calling for the resignation of Mapisa-Nqakula.

“To retain public trust in the institution, Mapisa-Nqakula must step down. She cannot be entrusted with this high office,” she said.

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