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South African Parliamentary Speaker's Home Raided Amid Corruption Investigation

Published March 20, 2024
2 months ago

In a move that has stirred up South African politics, the home of the Speaker of Parliament, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, has been searched by the Hawks, the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, acting on orders from the National Prosecuting Authority's Investigative Directorate. The raid, conducted on 19 March 2024, was part of an ongoing investigation into serious allegations of corruption during Mapisa-Nqakula’s term as the Defence Minister.

The Johannesburg home of the Parliamentary Speaker became the focus of the corruption probe after allegations were made that she had received and solicited inappropriate payments totaling at least R2.3 million from a former military contractor. The case revolves around claims that the funds were handed over in cash by the owner of a freight and logistics company, Umkhombe Marine, which notably secured a considerable R210 million worth of SANDF tenders in 2019.

The raid saw official vehicles parked at Mapisa-Nqakula’s residence and involved a meticulous search that unfolded over five hours, suggesting the seriousness with which the authorities are approaching the matter. The allegations at the heart of this investigation allegedly involve direct cash payments made to Mapisa-Nqakula on ten separate occasions over three years, implicating the late secretary of defence Sam Gulube as the facilitator.

These developments have resonated within the corridors of power, as confirmed by Parliament spokesperson Moloto Mothapo, who acknowledged the search and affirmed Mapisa-Nqakula's cooperation while maintaining her strong conviction of innocence. Despite these accusations, the speaker remains committed to public service marked by honor and integrity.

However, the gravity of the situation cannot be overstated, as corruption poses a severe risk to the tenants of democracy and the ethos of good governance that South Africa strives to uphold. With such a cloud hanging over her head, Mapisa-Nqakula's parliamentary responsibilities have been affected, evident by her excused absence during the President Cyril Ramaphosa's question-and-answer session, now led by the Deputy Speaker.

The affidavit purportedly revealing these allegations came from Nombasa Ntsondwa-Ndhlovu, who ran the business found in the center of the scandal and saw the logistics company ferrying SANDF cargo across the African continent.

Despite the significant implications of these events, no further comments have been made by the NPA’s ID, as the case remains an active legal matter. The story will undoubtedly continue to play a significant role in South Africa's fight against corruption and may have far-reaching implications for those involved and the integrity of public office.

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