South Africa’s former parliament speaker arrested on corruption, money laundering charges

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South Africa’s former parliament speaker, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, was arrested and charged with corruption on Thursday, a day after she resigned over graft allegations.

National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson Henry Mamothame confirmed that Mapisa-Nqakula was formally detained after handing herself over to police in Pretoria and made her first court appearance at the Pretoria Magistrates Court, where she was released on 50,000 rand (about 2,670 U.S. dollars) in bail.

In a statement issued by NPA after her court appearance, Mamothame said “the Investigating Directorate of the National Prosecuting Authority brought the 12 charges of corruption and one of money laundering against Mapisa-Nqakula following investigations into allegations that during her tenure as the Minister of Defence in the period between 2016 and 2019. She allegedly solicited an amount of approximately 4.5 million rand (about 240,000 U.S. dollars), of which 2.1 million rand was received in cash.”

According to the statement, the court granted her 50,000 rand bail, and her bail conditions are that she should surrender her passport to the investigating officer and she should have no direct or indirect contact with the state witnesses.

In court, Presiding Magistrate Anna Oosthuizen said she was satisfied that Mapisa-Mqakula is not a flight risk and will co-operate with the police.

The NPA statement added that the case against the former speaker is postponed to June 4 for the arrest of the second suspect accused in the matter.

Mapisa-Nqakula, a 67-year-old veteran of the governing African National Congress, was South Africa‘s defense minister from 2012 to 2021.

In her resignation statement on Wednesday, Mapisa-Nqakula said that her decision to resign was “in no way an indication or admission of guilt regarding the allegations” being leveled against her.

“I maintain my innocence and I am determined to restore my good reputation,” she added.

Source: Xinhua

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