Mapisa-Nqakula is going on special leave

Henry

Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, speaker of the National Assembly, has decided to go on special leave with immediate effect amid the allegations of corruption against her.

However, Mapisa-Nqakula denied reports that she was going to hand herself over to the police and said that neither she nor her legal team had received any official notification of an arrest warrant or communication in this regard. “However, my lawyers have proactively notified the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) of my readiness to comply and cooperate if the need arises.”

She says she has the greatest respect for the country’s legislative system and for this reason wants to express her willingness to cooperate fully with law enforcement agencies on any matter that may arise.

“Given the seriousness of the allegations and the accompanying extensive media speculation, I have decided to take special leave from my position as Speaker of the National Assembly, effective immediately. This decision was conveyed to the secretary of parliament and to the president in his capacity as head of state.”

According to Mapisa-Nqakula, the decision aims to protect the integrity, “sacred duty” and name of the parliament. Because of her decision, she will no longer lead the parliament’s delegation to the planned 148th session of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) general assembly at the end of the month in Geneva, Switzerland.

Mapisa-Nqakula’s decision to go on special leave was also communicated to the ANC. This said he is taking note and will apply his integrity and stand aside policy based on the facts and as they come to light.

Members of the NPA’s investigation directorate raided Mapisa-Nqakula’s house in Johannesburg on Tuesday amid damning allegations of corruption.

The speaker is accused of having accepted R2.3 million in bribes in the form of so-called gift packages from a service provider of the army during her time as minister of defense and military veterans.

The allegations are also being investigated by parliament’s ethics committee.