Defence committee drops ‘corruption investigation’ against Mapisa-Nqakula
Parliament’s joint standing committee on defence has dropped an investigation into allegations of corruption against former defence and military veterans minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula.
The committee, co-chaired by Cyril Xaba and Mamagase Nchabeleng, said on Friday it was disappointed that a whistle-blower who initially made the allegations had “sent the committee from pillar to post trying to get to the bottom of the complaint”.
News24 previously reported the committee was investigating Mapisa-Nqakula for allegedly receiving a R5m bribe from a defence contractor. She was also accused of blowing millions on aircraft charters and luxury hotels.
Mapisa-Nqakula, who was recently appointed as National Assembly speaker, has denied the allegations.
The committee had requested an affidavit to initiate the process of investigating the matter but said the whistle-blower refused to comply.
“The members were unanimous that the allegations made are serious and the committee had taken time to initiate an investigation on the matter, but the non-commitment to share information with the committee made the process futile,” the committee said on Friday.
“The committee views all corruption allegations in a serious light, but is also of the view that allegations should be backed by credible information in support of the allegations. The committee cautioned against spurious allegations because of the potential damage they might have on an alleged offender.
“The committee has resolved the matter is closed as there is nothing the committee can work on,” it said.
Meanwhile, the committee voiced concern over the rising costs related to the “unending” repair and maintenance programme (Ramp) of the first floor of 1 Military Hospital in Tshwane. More than R1bn had already been spent on the project and cost of medical outsourcing.
The committee asked to be furnished with a forensic report commissioned by the former chief of the SA National Defence Force and a progress update on the implementations of its recommendations.
“We find it extremely problematic that the Ramp that started in the 2005/2006 financial year is yet to be concluded. It seems the project is turning into a milking cow with no end in sight, which negatively affects the fiscus,” said Nchabeleng.