Home News Parties want Speaker Mapisa-Nqakula out amid corruption allegations

Parties want Speaker Mapisa-Nqakula out amid corruption allegations

by Zahid Jadwat

Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula has denied she received bribes when she was Minister of Defence. [Picture: Ayanda Ndamane / Independent Newspapers]


While on a work trip to Paris, National Assembly Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula probably has a headache about events back home. Trouble is brewing around corruption allegations levelled against her. Opposition parties want her out.

Earlier, it emerged the Speaker of Parliament solicited bribes from a defence contractor while serving as the country’s defence minister. As a consequence, parties in the chamber want her out, either willingly or through a motion of no-confidence.

The allegations suggest Mapisa-Nqakula solicited more than R2 million in bribes in her previous post. These were revealed in an affidavit stemming from a corruption case against Umkhombe Marine.


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Corruption allegations

In 2021, the leader of the United Democratic Movement (UDM), Bantu Holomisa, presented a complaint to Parliament. However, a supposed lack of evidence meant the complaint was “never fully investigated”, reports EWN.

Reacting to the storm of criticism that emerged when the contractor blew the whistle, Mapisa-Nqakula’s advisor, Mike Ramagoma, on Monday objected to the allegations being brought to the media.

But opposition parties in Parliament, such as the Democratic Alliance (DA) and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), find it unconscionable that she could remain Speaker of the legislature amid allegations of bribery.

“Surely she should take the nation into her confidence and we should be able to see somebody who’s saying ‘I will fall on my sword’ because I can’t be the head of the legislative arm of the state and have these grave allegations hanging over my head,” said Siviwe Gwarube, chief whip of the DA.

The party will consider putting forward a motion of no-confidence against the Speaker, which could see her ousted if successful, although unlikely.

The EFF, meanwhile, on Monday called for her removal. It also said it would report her to the Parliamentary Ethics Committee.

“The revelation that these illicit transactions allegedly unfolded over several years, with the Speaker purportedly making demands for cash through intermediaries before directly receiving the funds herself, is atrocious,” it said in a statement, further lambasting her for “disregard for ethical conduct and the rule of law”.

Mapisa-Nqakula also faces accusations of misleading MPs on the salary of Parliamentary secretary Xolile George. The DA filed a complaint after learning that her salary shot up from the advertised amount of R2.6 million to R4.4 million – within just one year.

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