Speaker requests access to entire dossier

Henry

The besieged parliamentary speaker, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, is going to submit an urgent application to the High Court in Pretoria in which she asks for an order prohibiting her arrest.

Mapisa-Nqakula is suspected of corruption after she apparently accepted bribes worth millions of rands during her term as Minister of Defence. The Independent Investigation Directorate raided her home in Johannesburg on Tuesday and it was widely speculated that her arrest was imminent.

According to reports, she handed herself in early Friday morning at the Pretoria Central police station and was expected to appear in the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court later today.

A short time ago, however, it emerged that Mapisa-Nqakula was not arrested.

Mapisa-Nqakula now argues that the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) does not have a strong case against her and she is coming with an urgent application to stop her arrest. In the court application, she asks, among other things, that the court prohibit the national director of public prosecutions and the minister of police from arresting her.

She also asks for access to, among other things, the “entire police file”. This includes access to all informant files, inquiry files and notebook entries of those involved in the investigation – whether police officers and members of the NPA or others involved.

The application further states that she requires access to the “entire investigation, including the investigative diary or logbook, all witness statements and all actual evidence forming part of the investigation by the agents of the second respondent (the Minister of Police) and/or the third respondent (Bheki Manyathi)”.

In the application, Mapisa-Nqakula also asks that a “date be set with the applicant’s (Mapisa-Nqakula) lawyer of record” as to when she must appear in the magistrate’s court.

She denies the allegations against her and earlier indicated that she would give her full cooperation in the investigation.

Motion of no confidence against speaker

The DA, which has repeatedly called on the besieged parliamentary speaker, Mapisa-Nqakula to resign, has meanwhile submitted a formal motion of no confidence in the speaker.

“The DA has taken note of the ‘special leave’ announced by the speaker regarding the charges of corruption and money laundering, which according to reports amount to more than R4 million,” says Siviwe Gwarube, chief whip of the DA.

The party will now write to all parties with representation in parliament to ask for their support in having the speaker removed from office.

“The rules of parliament do not provide for a unilateral decision on ‘special leave’ for a (parliament) member.”

This leave can only be granted by a full session of the house and then by a formal motion that is accepted in terms of parliamentary rules. Alternatively, a member may be granted five days of special leave, courtesy of their political parties. “Based on last night’s communication from the ANC, it does not appear that this is the case,” says Gwarube.

“The special leave is nothing more than an attempt to escape.”