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Pretoria high court dismisses Mapisa-Nqakula’s urgent bid to interdict her arrest 

Pretoria high court dismisses Mapisa-Nqakula’s urgent bid to interdict her arrest 
House Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula. (Photo: Gallo Images / Brenton Geach)

Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, on special leave as Speaker of the National Assembly, has lost her court bid to interdict any possible arrest on corruption charges. 

National Assembly Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula’s urgent application to interdict the National Director of Public Prosecutions Shamila Batohi, Police Minister Bheki Cele and investigators from arresting her has been struck off the roll in the Gauteng Division of the High Court in Pretoria.

Read more in Daily Maverick: Speaker’s corruption saga another nail in coffin of public trust in government

Delivering the ruling in the Gauteng Division of the High Court in Pretoria on Tuesday, Judge Sulet Potterill said Mapisa-Nqakula’s application was not urgent and the Court could not make a finding on “speculation” that her future arrest will be unlawful or that the state’s case is weak.

“There is not a single fact set out as to why the future arrest will be unlawful. Seemingly because there’s a weak case made out. Yet the applicant [Mapisa-Nqakula] does not know what case has been set out and this is pure speculation. I can make no finding on such speculation that there will be an unlawful arrest or that there is a weak case. These facts cannot underpin urgency,” Judge Potterill said.

Judge Potterill noted that if the Court were to grant such an order “the floodgates will be opened” for suspects to interdict their arrests on the grounds that they are unlawful and the cases against them are weak.

“The respondents argued that it would not be competent for this Court to interdict an arrest — I’m in full agreement with this submission… Every suspect will be in a position to approach a court on an urgent basis, setting out on speculation that there is a weak case against it, and interdict an arrest. Any suspect would merely have to set out in a founding affidavit that an arrest in future will be unlawful. The whole criminal justice system will fail and will be controlled by suspects,” she said.

The judge struck Mapisa-Nqakula’s application from the roll and ordered her to pay costs.

Mapisa-Nqakula had filed court papers on Friday, 22 March, seeking to interdict Batohi, Cele and investigators from arresting her amid speculation about her possible arrest over claims that she had solicited bribes from a defence contractor between 2017 and 2019 while she was defence minister.

She has continuously denied wrongdoing but has since taken special leave from her position as Speaker of the National Assembly.

Last week, it emerged in court papers that the ID was ready to charge Mapisa-Nqakula with 12 counts of corruption totalling R4.55-million. In an affidavit, ID deputy director of public prosecutions Bheki Manyathi also referenced the search and seizure operation which was conducted at Mapisa-Nqakula’s Johannesburg home on Tuesday, 19 March.

Read more in Daily Maverick: Speaker Mapisa-Nqakula’s home raided; Ramaphosa sidesteps questions on State Capture inaction

On Tuesday, Judge Potterill said that Mapisa-Nqakula had been given ample time to present herself to the police station, but has “failed to do so for two weeks”.

She added that Mapisa-Nqakula has been afforded the courtesy of handing herself over to the authorities. “This is already a courtesy and an exception to what ordinary citizens are afforded,” said Judge Potterill. DM

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  • Con Tester says:

    Elsewhere, this has been labelled a “legal blow” for Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula.

    Hardly a “legal blow” when you can just keep tapping the public purse for funds to keep your Stalingrad defence alive and to pay the cost orders against you.

    These contemptible bipeds are wholly bereft of honour and have even less probity.

    • Graham Swan says:

      EXACTLY….according to my ‘knowledge’ of our (also so-called) ‘Constitution’ we are all equal citizens….HOWEVER we not treated like that. A perfect example is when those citizens were beaten so badly by bodyguards in the ‘blue-light brigade’….BUT LEST US NOT ALL FORGET!!!!….”he is the second most important citizen in SA” ??????????????? I ENCOURAGE EVERY CITIZEN THAT THE STATE WANTS TO PROSECUTE….ASK THEM TO PAY FOR YOUR LEGAL DEFENCE…LAWYERS OF YOUR CHOICE! Afterall…what is fair-is-fair after-all in a democracy

      • Mark Penwarden says:

        Yip. Another fairly stark example of inequality in the legal system is that of Cyril and Phala Phala. If you or I had been found to have stuffed our couches with hundreds of thousands in US dollars we’d be in jail right now. Hell we’d be in trouble if it was just $1000. In particular, Cyril didn’t disclose the incident until other sources found out about it. It’s pretty shocking.

        • Graham Swan says:

          Ignore Titus’ comments below. He STILL BELIEVES A T-SHIRT/ LITTLE FOOD PARCEL/ AND the biggest promises AFTER so many years…will materialise…Titus…believe what you want…HARD EVIDENCE IS VISIBLE TO TO WHOLE WORLD….look what has happened in 30 years to SA???!!! Anyways…many people walk around with blinkers on ….usually tenderprenears/ contractors with government etc etc…and they will protect and defend (even the most evil of stuff done)…..

      • Titus Khoza says:

        Okay, your your ignorance is understood, but please don’t expect me to pay you for it. Finish and klaar

    • Titus Khoza says:

      Are you capable of walking on your stomach?

  • Graham Swan says:

    As we have all seen SO MANY times…those in the ruling party will PROTECT their (criminal) ‘cadres’. Everyone with 2cents worth in their brain knows….with every cent stolen….it MORE THAN LIKELY filters right to the TOP….THEY ALL GET THEIR SHARE OF LOOTED/ BRIBES/ CORRUPT funds etc etc etc etc….suppose it’s similar to how the Mafia works….’foot-soldiers’ on the ground (deployed by senior cadres)….then the ‘lieutenants’ …then the ‘sottoocapo’s’…then ULTIMATELY the BIG BOSS (who gets the most)….SHE WAS JUST THROWN UNDER THE BUS!! Do you think if they wanted to protect her…the NPA would prosecute successfully??? UNLIKE too many others ‘they’ REFUSE/ SEEM INCAPABLE AND UNWILLING to prosecute….they ‘hold too much valuable information’ that can implicate TOO many very senior (so-called) ‘leaders’ of this country. Shame…besides that elections are coming up…and they now want to look good….I think she did it ALL ON HER OWN….and DID NOT SHARE THE SPOILS (some pissed off people in government)..does not have incriminating evidence against ‘those in power’..SO SHE CAN GO!…throw her under the bus. Look how MANY of them are FAR MORE GUILTY….AND PROVEN SO!!!…but PROTECTED!!! Use Stalingrad tactics in court…all while the ‘state’ that is apparently ‘prosecuting’ you…IS PAYING ALL YOUR LEGAL DEFENCE??? WHY??? They don’t WANT them to be successfully prosecuted (Zuma has already threatened to bring out ‘dirty laundry’….look at him as an example!)

    • Gavin Hillyard says:

      We simply cannot go on like this. It is a nightmare. A major shake-up is required. I pray that the results of the May General election will facilitate this.

  • Malcolm McManus says:

    So what now? Its Not like an upper echelon ANC cadre to accept a high court ruling. And to expect her to hand herself over. Since when does the average person in the street get asked to hand themselves over. Normally a police van rocks up in the early hours of the morning and takes you away. If you’re lucky you get a spare wheel to sit on.

  • Kent Kihl says:

    It is difficult to understand that there are so many incompetent people in the judicial fraternity. What did they do at university when they studied law, obviously they did not learn anything about law. Attorneys and advocates that go to court with cases that are doomed to be lost, obviously for them it is the money that counts, not the legal issues. I know what such are called, the ones that do things that goes against what they believe, but do it any way for money.

    • Graham Swan says:

      They KNOW know they can make a TON of money…that’s why they continue with Stalingrad defence…KNOWING their clients are VERY VERY guilty…but if “we can make a fortune at tax payers expense”…why not ignore our ‘oath’…but then again I suppose anyone/ judges etc…may be very subtly told they will not have a job if they rule the wrong way….but WELL done to her/ the judge in this case…

  • Clifton Coetzee says:

    Leg irons please. She may try to run away. Or even roll away.

  • Sydney Kaye says:

    Very nice to hear a Judge speaking plain common sense.
    She didn’t need precedents or legal theory , or to be an expert on legal theory or the constitution to arrive at that most obvious conclusion

    • Kenneth FAKUDE says:

      This reaction from her says a lot about the allegations, she should have walked to the NPA and said here I am, ducking and diving for a few moments in a police cell is unlike a person who headed the tough portfolio of defence, approving equipment of mass destruction.
      This country is relying on grace for security.

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