Parties call for Mapisa-Nqakula’s arrest as her urgent court bid fails

NPA declines to comment on next steps as it denies special treatment allegations

02 April 2024 - 15:20
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National Assembly speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula. File photo.
National Assembly speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula. File photo.
Image: Gallo Images/Brenton Geach

Political parties are calling for the arrest of National Assembly speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula after her urgent application to block it failed in the Pretoria high court on Tuesday.

Mapisa-Nqakula turned to the court to challenge how the search and seizure warrant by the Investigating Directorate was obtained and the recent operation itself at her Johannesburg home. 

In her ruling judge Sulet Potterill said the matter was not urgent and ordered her to pay the costs of the application.

After the judgment,  National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson Mthunzi Mhaga declined to comment about the next steps.

“We don't discuss issues of arrests, evidential issues or list of witnesses in the media. But the wheels of justice will now be in motion as you were listening to the judgment, which was well-reasoned.  We've always maintained this is unprecedented and it was unnecessary,” he said.

Mhaga also dismissed the notion that the NPA was treating Mapisa-Nqakula's matter differently by allowing her the “courtesy” to have her lawyer bring her to Lyttleton police station for processing and to also escort her to court, saying this option was available to all South Africans and has “happened in the past”.

Various political parties have welcomed the court's ruling as they called for immediate action to be taken against the speaker.

UDM leader Bantu Holomisa called on Mapisa-Nqakula to hand herself over to police and “spare us [MPs] the business of a motion of no confidence”.

This call was echoed by the EFF, which said the court ruling is a “resounding victory for accountability and the rule of the law”.

“No individual, regardless of their position or perceived importance, should be above the law. Mapisa-Nqakula's assertion of her own significance as South Africa's 'third most important functionary' is arrogant and irrelevant in the face of serious allegations of corruption and money laundering.”

The party called on Mapisa-Nqakula to step down amid the allegations against her “as her continued presence in the National Assembly flagrantly undermines its integrity”.

The DA said it had written to the deputy speaker and acting speaker Lechesa Tsenoli “to demand the immediate scheduling of the motion of no confidence”.

The deputy speaker had confirmed to the DA the motion had been tabled last week; it said there was no reason for a special sitting to not be convened and the matter voted on.

“Parliament has a responsibility to hold the speaker to account and we cannot be hamstrung by the ANC and its own processes in performing this role. Once a motion has been tabled it has to be deliberated on and voted on without delay, the rules of the National Assembly demand,” DA chief whip Siviwe Gwarube said.

Mapisa-Nqakula's court bid stemmed from a search and seizure operation conducted by the Investigating Directorate at her home in Bruma, Johannesburg last month. 

The operation is linked to the investigation into alleged corruption that reportedly took place during Mapisa-Nqakula's tenure as minister of defence and military veterans.


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