Defend Truth

PARLIAMENT

Speaker Mapisa-Nqakula’s home raided; Ramaphosa sidesteps questions on State Capture inaction

Speaker Mapisa-Nqakula’s home raided; Ramaphosa sidesteps questions on State Capture inaction
House Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula. (Photo: Gallo Images / Brenton Geach)

Any action against ministers and deputy ministers implicated in State Capture would be informed by ‘outcomes of the processes undertaken by the relevant entities’ with investigative and prosecutorial capacities, President Cyril Ramaphosa told MPs on Tuesday.

The presidential Q&A session in the National Assembly played out just hours after the Investigating Directorate (ID) raided the Johannesburg home of House Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula on Tuesday, 19 March.

While the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) confirmed in a short statement that the search and seizure operation was part of an investigation, it gave no further details. 

The raid is widely understood to relate to allegations by a former defence contractor that Mapisa-Nqakula had solicited R2.3-million in bribes between 2017 and 2019 while she was defence minister.

DA leader John Steenhuisen grabbed the politicking opportunity in the Q&A session to link the raid to President Cyril Ramaphosa’s much-promised yet uncompleted executive lifestyle audits.

“Your failure is what has facilitated this alleged corruption by the Speaker. You are the reason we are sitting with a corruption-alleged deputy president, the Speaker’s house raided, and a Cabinet that reads like a Zondo most wanted list.”

In a second shot at asking if Ramaphosa would support the Speaker stepping aside, Steenhuisen didn’t get further than saying a raid was a serious matter before the ANC closed ranks in what’s become a tactic to make political pickles go away.

“This is a new question… This is pure gossip and it is a cheap shot. I urge the President not to respond,” interjected House chair Grace Boroto.

Presiding officer Cedric Frolick agreed, even as Steenhuisen argued that the President had opened the door by saying Parliament was one of the entities he would take his cue from when acting against ministers and deputies.

Frolick told Steenhuisen to submit a substantive motion, indicating that the President did not have to answer.

Ramaphosa replied, “Your ruling is my command” – and stayed silent.

It’s the way the governing ANC in Parliament previously dealt with opposition calls for State Capture probes, as also outlined in the Zondo Commission report.

In a statement shortly before the session, Parliament confirmed the raid at Mapisa-Nqakula’s home. 

“The Speaker steadfastly upholds her strong conviction of innocence and reaffirms that she has nothing to hide. In line with this, she has welcomed investigators into her home, cooperating fully during the extensive search that lasted over five hours. The Speaker’s commitment to serving the public with honour and integrity remains unwavering.”

The search and seizure operation meant Mapisa-Nqakula wasn’t in the Speaker’s chair as usual for Ramaphosa, who on Tuesday completed his final question session in the House before the 2024 elections.

The raid and investigation have been a long time in the making, stretching back to at least 2021.

At the time, Parliament’s joint standing committee on defence declined to fully probe the allegations raised by United Democratic Movement leader Bantu Holomisa. Although the committee established a probe, it was disbanded in September 2021 after non-cooperation by the whistle-blower. It’s unclear whether other options were pursued.

Tuesday’s raid was partly the result of whistle-blower Nombasa Ntsondwa-Ndhlovu deposing an affidavit to the NPA, according to a report in the Sunday Times in early March. This saga has been unravelling since 2019 when City Press linked Ntsondwa-Ndhlovu, married to SANDF general Noel Ndhlovu, to tender rigging.

Holomisa laid criminal charges with the police – as Mapisa-Nqakula in April 2021 said he should– sometime after the parliamentary joint standing committee on defence’s probe stalled. He had also informed Ramaphosa.

“We told him in black and white. This individual should not be in the Cabinet. But he rewarded her with the post of Speaker. What would the world say now?” Holomisa told Daily Maverick on the phone. He declined to comment further.

‘Step down’

On Tuesday afternoon, DA Chief Whip Siviwe Gwarube called for Mapisa-Nqakula to step down. 

“As the head of the legislature in South Africa, the Speaker holds a position of great responsibility. The rules of Parliament envision that the Speaker is someone who ‘upholds the dignity and good name of the House’. 

“Having one’s home raided due to corruption allegations of this serious nature defies the very essence of this requirement… To retain public trust in the institution, Mapisa-Nqakula must step down.”

Earlier in March, Gwarube referred the Speaker to the parliamentary ethics committee over these corruption claims. It’s unclear whether the committee has started its probe as statements are made only when an ethics complaint is finalised.

The IFP and the Freedom Front Plus joined the call.

“Remaining in office while the investigation is ongoing would taint Parliament’s integrity as well,” said FF+ leader Pieter Groenewald.

However, ANC Chief Whip Pemmy Majodina said this was not necessary, emulating the President’s predilection for due process.

Speaking to Newzroom Afrika, she said the investigation against Mapisa-Nqakula had yet to fully unfold and that the Speaker had rights like any other South African.

Waiting for the authorities

Tuesday’s raid of Mapisa-Nqakula’s home distracted from the rule of law and due process focus Ramaphosa wanted as the key message in his final parliamentary question session before the elections.

But he stayed on message, even if it was convoluted and short on detail. 

The opposition asked why the lifestyle audits promised in 2018 were still under way and wanted to know about the lack of action on the ministers and deputies implicated in State Capture.

This includes Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe, who has taken the Zondo Commission report on review; Water and Sanitation Deputy Minister David Mahlobo, and Sport, Arts and Culture Minister Zizi Kodwa.

All three feature on the ANC’s 2024 election list, with Mantashe at number three, Mahlobo at 13 and Kodwa at 25. 

Even if the ANC were to fall below 50%, as pundits widely predict, the ranking of these candidates would ensure eligibility for a Cabinet position even if the ANC were only the largest party post the elections and dependent on a coalition arrangement to form a government.

Read more in Daily Maverick: Once again at the centre of pre-election attention — the ANC’s electoral lists

Ramaphosa told MPs it was a “fable” and a “lie” to say nothing was being done to implement the recommendations of the Zondo Commission. 

“It is not true nothing is being done about the recommendations of the Zondo Commission.”

IFP leader Velenkosini Hlabisa said that while this was a “nice” response, people saw matters differently. Ramaphosa maintained, “Where there is any form of evidence… Yes, action will be taken.”

And when Groenewald asked why the President had suspended Small Business Development Deputy Minister Dipuo Peters for only a month – she was suspended for the current term by Parliament after an ethics guilty verdict relating to her time as transport minister – Ramaphosa returned to the need for due process. He said he acted in Peters’ case because Parliament had acted.

“Other current members (of the executive) implicated by the State Capture commission have not been charged or found wanting in ethical breaches by anybody or any entity… That is important. Any action I take … will be informed by the outcomes of the processes undertaken by the relevant entities.”

The takeaway? Action would only be taken if law enforcement agencies, prosecution services or perhaps institutions such as the Public Protector or Parliament were to find against a minister or deputy minister.

No one outside the ANC benches seemed convinced by this argument – especially given that there are only 70 days to the elections. DM

Gallery

Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Just Me says:

    This is an ANC election year stunt. The ANC have volumes of evidence on corrupt ANC cadres, just through he Zondo commission alone, but what has happened there?

    So, this token act of having a home raided and Cyril calling for Lifestyle Audits rings hollow.

  • Sydney Kaye says:

    Q. How do you know this ANC politician is guilty.
    A. Because she is an ANC politician.

    .

  • J vN says:

    N-kak-kula.

    There is not one single senior ANC member who isn’t corrupt or on the take.

    Stealing.

    It’s just who they are.

  • Malcolm McManus says:

    ANC closing ranks and in defense and denial mode, just like they did with the swimming pool. Whats new.

  • Richard Bryant says:

    The lifestyle audit will never pick up cash in bags. The cadres learned about this long ago. Ask David Mhlobo. He became adept at packing millions of Rands every month into bags for zuma. Taxpayer money. Mpisa-Nqakula also learned the art of communicating in code.

    The only reason this came out is because the payer of the bribe was caught out and squealed to keep herself out of jail.

    But the school of corruption for the cadres includes the innocent until proven guilty. Nothing will happen until charges are laid. And the spin by Ramaphosa “Where there is any form of evidence… Yes, action will be taken.” knowing that cash in bags or stuffed in the sofa is not sufficient evidence to be found guilty let alone be charged.

    It’s a key course taken by everyone who attends the ANC School of Corruption. There’s also the short course on the art of denial but critically the compulsory course taken by all ANC MPs to rally around and kill anything that leads to a proper enquiry in Parliament.

  • Jimbo Smith says:

    One wonders how many times Ramapromisa has uttered that little jumble of words about “due process.” This latest scandal simply means another high powered politician joins the queue of those being “investigated.” Reality check; NOTHING WILL HAPPEN and in no time she will be appointed to some higher office!!

  • Bob Fraser says:

    Bob – March 20th 2024 at 08:47
    Can’t but agree with Rob Hersov when he said Ramaphosa is a complete disappointment and must step down. Even now he is scared of his cabinet all of whom he himself appointed. He has had more than sufficient time to take active steps against the cabinet members who he knows full well have been or still are active in corruption.

  • Rory Macnamara says:

    any decent person with an ounce of morality would step back graciously on their own free will whilst the process takes place. we care nothing for the individual but we do care for the position and the authority it holds. by staying in the speaker shows disrespect for the position, parliament and the people of South Africa. Shameless but typical ANC!

    • Rodney Weidemann says:

      This is why the ANC rail against doing things ‘the Western way’ – because in any Western democracy, if the speaker’s house was raided as part of a corruption investigation, they would, voluntarily, step down (at least until the investigation was compete) for the sake of the party and appearances…

  • Beyond Fedup says:

    I agree 100% with all the comments! This just dejavu and standard operating procedure for the vile anc. Close ranks and protect the cadres, elites and members. Stonewall everything and make the same old lying and lame excuses. Remember how this hideous party/government/parliament closed ranks around Zuma on Nkandla, state capture etc. Nothing changes and Cyril the spineless is at the centre of it all. All vacuous hot air about fighting corruption! ANC = theft, corruption, treason, nepotism, hypocrisy and ineptness! Totally unfit for purpose except for stealing – masters at it!

  • Rae Earl says:

    So bloody typical of the ANC from Ramaphosa down. Close ranks when caught out and fall back on rubbish statements about innocent until blah blah blah. The clown Mbalula said it all when he admitted the ANC had lied to cover Zuma when he was stealing left right and centre. These people cannot be trusted in any form whatsoever.

  • Fuad XXX says:

    Good morning Mr. President, thank you, after Minister Naledi Pandor swayed my voting conviction you have proofed that the ANC should not be given another chance to govern. Period.

  • The Flying Scotsman says:

    I think where the ANC is involved its best to assume ‘Guilty until proven innocent’

  • Charles Butcher says:

    Yet another anc thief is being caught

  • drew barrimore says:

    Step aside, side step, apparently dancing is culture.

  • Scott Gordon says:

    CR speaks , pass me the barf bag !

  • D'Esprit Dan says:

    “he stayed on message, even if it was convoluted and short on detail. ”

    Ramaphosa’s presidency in a nutshell. Mavuso Msimang must feel like Own Farrell when Chessie nutmegged him in the 2019 Final!

    He was sold the biggest dummy of his political career when he reversed his resignation – and sold it by the biggest dummy spitter in the ANC, good old Fix-fokol!

  • Charles Butcher says:

    Oh wow seems my speaking the truth has incensed someone

  • Brendan Temple says:

    Crooks defending crooks!

    Just in case anyone forgot the meaning. “A crook is a dishonest person or a criminal.”

  • Gavin Hillyard says:

    Ramaphosa can’t act. If he does the whole ANC house of cards will come tumbling down. Woza the 29th of May

  • Anthony Krijger says:

    Given tat she has had since 2019 to cover her tracks, its more than likely that the raid on her home is just a token from the SIU to make it seem they are doing their job.

  • G. Strauss says:

    I think everyone in SA with half a functioning braincell knows that Ramapromise is far worse than Zuma. The latter was a fool and a joker, and everybody laughed. The former is a slimy liar, and everybody should be worried. Not that the revered Freni Ginwala’s house would ever have been raided in connection with alleged corruption, she would have stood aside and allowed the law to take its course. Wake up, SA, before there really is nothing left to wake up to.

  • Trenton Carr says:

    Letting her stay is itself a corrupt act, Ramaspineless not seeing this is not surprising.

  • Charles Butcher says:

    To be viewed with the SLIGHTEST of suspicions means this “person” should step down from public office. This isnt TALK itrs a full on RAID d her home ,thete must be very serious issues at stake. No confusion as whether there is guilt or not , in something UNTOWARD

  • Tothe Point says:

    Maybe CR should ask our friends in China what they do about corrupt government officials. China’s answer: Execute them.

  • Vincent Britz says:

    Just another day for the Thugs, criminals & gangster of the corrupt ANC government!! They are the reason why our beloved country is FKed!!!

Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted

X

This article is free to read.

Sign up for free or sign in to continue reading.

Unlike our competitors, we don’t force you to pay to read the news but we do need your email address to make your experience better.


Nearly there! Create a password to finish signing up with us:

Please enter your password or get a sign in link if you’ve forgotten

Open Sesame! Thanks for signing up.

We would like our readers to start paying for Daily Maverick...

…but we are not going to force you to. Over 10 million users come to us each month for the news. We have not put it behind a paywall because the truth should not be a luxury.

Instead we ask our readers who can afford to contribute, even a small amount each month, to do so.

If you appreciate it and want to see us keep going then please consider contributing whatever you can.

Support Daily Maverick→
Payment options

Daily Maverick Elections Toolbox

Feeling powerless in politics?

Equip yourself with the tools you need for an informed decision this election. Get the Elections Toolbox with shareable party manifesto guide.