Welcome to Africanews

Please select your experience

Watch Live



South Africa: No arrest imminent for embattled speaker of parliament until April 2

Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula   -  
Copyright © africanews
Ben Curtis/AP

South Africa

Facing possible arrest for various counts of corruption and bribery, South Africa's embattled National Assembly speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, is a free woman — at least until next Tuesday. Judgment was reserved till April 2 in the speaker’s application to interdict her arrest.

South African state prosecutors on Monday had said they intend to charge the parliament speaker with corruption, alleging she took $135,000 and a wig in bribes over a three-year period while she was defence minister. Mapisa-Nqakula has denied any wrongdoing.

"Although the constitutional right to freedom of movement and the right to dignity does not oblige the respondents, should they decide to arrest the applicant in terms of section 40, ie a warrant, to consider whether they are no less invasive methods to bring the applicant before court than by arresting her and thereby encroaching on her constitutional right. The discretion on whether to arrest the applicant must be exercised in good faith, rationally and not arbitrarily" said Reginald Willis, lawyer representing Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula.

Her case is the latest graft scandal to hit the ruling African National Congress (ANC)party, which faces a pivotal national election on May 29. 

In court papers submitted for the hearing, prosecutors say Mapisa-Nqakula received 11 payments totalling $135,000 between December 2016 and July 2019. She sought another bribe of $105,000 but that wasn't paid, according to prosecutors.

"We submit Your Ladyship that you should strike off this application because of lack of urgency, noncompliance with the practice directive and in particular because they are not making a case that they will not suffer any irreparable harm. And if Her Ladyship is with us, we submit that the cost, should include the cost of two counsels" Makhosi Gwala, state advocate said.

Mapisa-Nqakula has taken a leave of absence from her role as parliament speaker.

View more