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‘I don’t pose a risk’, Mapisa-Nqakula insists on R50K bail in first court appearance

‘I don’t pose a risk’, Mapisa-Nqakula insists on R50K bail in first court appearance
Former speaker of Parliament Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula appears at the Pretoria Magistrate's court on allegations of corruption, on 4 April, 2024. (Photo: Felix Dlangamandla)

Former National Assembly Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula appeared in court to face a slew of corruption charges, including allegations of receiving millions in bribes.

Less than 24 hours after resigning as Speaker of the National Assembly, the Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula made her first appearance in the Pretoria Magistrates’ Court to face 12 charges of corruption and one charge of money laundering.

The charges levelled against Mapisa-Nqakula include allegedly soliciting bribes from a contractor to the tune of R4.55-million between 2017 and 2019 while she was defence minister.

In March, the Sunday Times reported that an investigation by the Investigating Directorate found Mapisa-Nqakula allegedly received R2.3-million in cash delivered in gift bags by defence businessperson Nombasa Ntsondwa-Ndhlovu. Ntsondwa-Ndhlovu is married to a general in the military health service.

The highly anticipated court appearance comes after Mapisa-Nqakula’s high court bid to interdict her arrest failed earlier this week, forcing her to hand herself over to the police at Lyttelton Police Station earlier on Thursday morning.

In handing down the ruling that struck Mapisa-Nqakula’s urgent application to interdict the arrest, Judge Potterill said that Mapisa-Nqakula had been given ample time to present herself to the police station but had “failed to do so for two weeks.”

Read more in Daily Maverick: Pretoria high court dismisses Mapisa-Nqakula’s urgent bid to interdict her arrest

Mapisa-Nqakula entered Courtroom 8 in the Pretoria Magistrates’ Court to be greeted by a full gallery.

Her husband, Charles Nqakula and former National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete sat in the first row of Courtroom 8 in a show of support for Mapisa-Nqakula.

Mbete, who is no stranger to controversy herself, has previously spoken out in defence of Mapisa-Nqakula, saying the corruption allegations levelled against her were part of a vendetta to discredit Mapisa-Nqakula.

Read more in Daily Maverick: Arms Deal and State Capture claims: Former Speaker Baleka Mbete explains her failure to act

After entering the courtroom and taking her place on the dock, Mapisa-Nqakula flashed an appreciative smile at her husband and Mbete.

Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula

Former Speaker of Parliament Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula at the Pretoria magistrate court on 4 April, 2024. (Photo: Felix Dlangamandla)

‘I do not pose a risk’

The State claimed that it would not oppose bail, but since Nqakula is being charged with a schedule 5 offence, the onus is on her to prove why she should be granted bail.

In her affidavit, read out by the former Speaker’s lawyer, Graham Kerr-Phillips, Mapisa-Nqakula argued that she was not a flight risk. She claimed she would lose her state pension if she evaded her trial, which she could not afford.

The former Speaker added that her handing herself over to the police earlier this morning was evidence of her belief in the rule of law and further indication that she had no plans to flee.

Mapisa-Nqakula insisted that her imprisonment would negatively affect the well-being of her family and that her release on bail would pose no threat to justice, adding, “I do not pose a risk to the State should I be released”.

Mapisa-Nqakula said the search and seizure at her home yielded no evidence of the corruption allegation levelled against her. She also claimed that the prosecution had a weak case.

In addition to her case, Mapisa-Nqakula claimed South African prisons are riddled with gangs and claimed that the facilities do not have the capability to ensure her safety. The embattled former Speaker pointed to inadequate ablution facilities and healthcare as further evidence as to why she should not be imprisoned.

“My client suffers from dangerous hypertension, she is on medication which she constantly needs, and if it is not provided to her when she needs it, [the situation] could be life-threatening,” Kerr-Phillips added.

State doesn’t oppose bail

In response to Mapisa-Nqakula’s affidavit, Prosecutor Bheki Manyathi said that the State would not oppose the bail application. Manyathi said the State considered the fact that Mapisa-Nqakula handed herself over, her age, and her health condition when deciding not to oppose bail.

The embattled politician said that her resignation was by no means an admission of guilt.

Kerr-Phillips appealed to Magistrate Anna Oosthuizen to release his client on R50,000 bail, given Mapisa-Nqakula’s status as a pensioner. The State, on the other hand, is pursuing R100,000 bail.

After a short recess Magistrate Oosthuizen granted Mapisa-Nqakula R50,000 bail, stating that the court is satisfied that the accused made her case as to why she should be released.

“The court is satisfied that the applicant is not a flight risk,” said Oosthuizen.

Bail conditions

Manyathi told the court that the State requested that Mapisa-Nqakula hand her passport over to the investigating officer by 18:00 Monday 8 April.

The State’s second condition was for Mapisa-Nqakula not to contact any of the witnesses in the case.

Magistrate Oosthuizen agreed to the conditions set by the State. Based on additional evidence recovered from Mapisa-Nqakula’s property during the search and seizure, Manyathi revealed that the State would be adding a second accused to the matter. The State prosecutor did not reveal the individual’s identity.

The matter has been postponed till 4 June. DM


Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • J (Not) Z (The Ex Prez) says:

    Lovely. And the next appearance will be on Neverday the 75th, 2099 at 28h00.

    • craig white says:

      you forgot ……… after elections …….. and medical parole already being lined up …………

      • Alan Paterson says:

        Indeed “dangerous hypertension” whatever that means. Presumably about as terminal as that of JZ.

        • Alan Watkins says:

          Oh yes dangerous hypertension. Life threatening! Necessitating immediate transfer to prison or private hospital should she be convicted and medical parole asap thereafter. One problem….everyone knows these stunts by now. They only work a couple of times 🙂

  • Rae Earl says:

    Amazing that even after being caught out in numerous corrupt activities, she has the gall to try and dictate terms to the court. A second accused sounds like a fascinating further development, her husband maybe? Whatever, expect Stalingrad to kick in but please God not in the hands of classic loser of cases Dali Mpofu…

    • Denise Smit says:

      Yes please not Mpofu, looking for papers,consulting his assistants, pleading for another 30 minutes of the same monotonous incoherent brabble and giving us the worst ever leading performance as an actor

  • John Cartwright says:

    ‘Thrown in [her] hat’ suggests that she has entered a competition (in this case, for the position of Speaker), but the opposite is true – perhaps ‘thrown in the towel’ was intended.

  • John Cartwright says:

    ‘Thrown in [her] hat’ suggests that she has entered a competition (in this case, for the position of Speaker), but the opposite is true – perhaps ‘thrown in the towel’ was intended.

  • Bob Kuhn says:

    The walk of the unashamed ?

  • Michael Forsyth says:

    Did I hear correctly on the news this morning that she arrived at court with a full motorcade, presumably with security guards). Surely as soon as she resigned her position she forfeited any rights to such extravagance?

    I also had a bit of a laugh at the statement :”Mapisa-Nqakula claimed South African prisons are riddled with gangs and claimed that the facilities do not have the capability to ensure her safety.” The prisons are all very well for the common man but not for the snout-in-the-trough bunch.

  • Walter Spatula says:

    They’re making a big fuss over someone being on blood pressure meds.

  • Andre Swart says:

    ‘Expropriate’ her of all her ill begotten assets, without compensation!

    … ha … ha …

    ‘Mahlale a ja mong!’

    ‘Slim vang sy baas!’

  • Kerry Haggard says:

    Thrown in the towel, not thrown in the hat. Very different things.

  • Rick Astley says:

    It’s all for show, as with all accused or indicted ANC government officials, with the road behind us littered with precedent – especially the ‘sick’ claim. Plus she has a track record covered in dirt. The magistrate clearly isn’t up to date with trending government behaviour. And we, the public, the media, just go thru the motions, asking questions, receiving answers and putting them in a box…pretending to be a functioning democracy while the party screws us, because it is one way of hanging on to our sanity.

  • Esskay Esskay says:

    She is going to become ill and require specialised treatment in Russia.

  • Manny Teixeira says:

    She is an absolute disgrace. Of course she poses a risk??? Holding one of the top political positions but she is dishonest and has no integrity whatsoever. That in itself is a risk, lick her up. People are starving while her and her cohorts are destroying what’s left of our country.

  • Richard Blake says:

    Another ANC cadre with a medical problem. If I took 4.5 million in bribes I would also have dangerous hypertension.

  • Johan Buys says:

    One suspects her sin was that perhaps she did not share the proceeds. If half had gone to the ANC coffers, she would have been safe from prosecution.

  • Andre Swart says:

    Me thinks the lady cheated on Buffalo soldier … in favour of Msholozi, the red blooded, 100% Zulu boy, of Nkandla?

    Now comes the FIGHT!

  • Geoff Coles says:

    Another white lawyer….er why?

    • Andrew C says:

      Yes, when the chips are down they never use a black lawyer. Why? There are lots of very competent black lawyers and advocates in SA.

  • these politicians are always suffering from medical conditions, it must be nice. she knows that prison os full of gangsters and yet she partakes in criminal activities, how ironic

  • Skinyela Skinyela says:

    She was once a minister of correctional services responsible for the prisons, for 3 years, and has been in government for more than 20 years.

    She has no right to complain about the poor state of prisons.

    If she had shame she was never going to include that fact(prisons are riddled with gangs and have poor ablution facilities) as part of the reasons why she should get bail.

    But they have normalised that mentality, they are the ones who complain loudly(by taking their kids to private schools and by using private hospitals, to name just few examples) about the poor state of the facilities control by… Guess who, and the services rendered by… Guess who!!!

  • Beyond Fedup says:

    Shame, poor thing! Another pompous and entitled cadre who thinks and expects to be above the law. Prison is not for them – it is only for Joe Citizen with all that goes with it. The go-to of all these miserable anc scumbags – claim innocence forever, all part of a political conspiracy and health is failing. It is very simple – don’t do crime and you won’t do time. This cabal of anc thieves , hypocrites and misfits deserve to rot in jail!

  • Abu Bakr Solomons says:

    President Ramaphosa says she should be ‘applauded for resigning..’ Those are the kinds of spurious criteria applied in the BEE processes. No wonder service delivery in our country has degenerated.

  • Dave Barnes says:

    Why the rapid run to court to stop being charged? Never heard of this before. There is an old saying:- When something looks like a duck, swims like a duck, quacks like a duck it is very likely to be a duck.

  • David B says:

    Amazingly, our president suggests we should applaud her for resigning. This shows his view of corruption clearly. My guess is that she resigned to keep her pension, which she would lose if she was dismissed from her position. No doubt she will also receive a presidential pardon as part of her deal with the ANC. This is strategy, not honour. Whether she resigned or not, she is corrupt and deserves contempt, not applause.

  • md demolition and construction says:

    Engaging read! Concise yet comprehensive insights. Love how you dissected the topic with clarity. Looking forward to more content like this
    Demolition contractor in Johannesburg

  • Martin Kunhardt says:

    I am puzzled why people who have allegedly embezzled millions are not automatically given lifestyle audits and have their bank accounts frozen until the allegations are tested? Surely, the seriousness of the allegations, and SARS should take note, are withholding monies due in taxes. 50k as a bail condition for someone whose bank accounts must be bloated with corrupt money. SARS are very good at monitoring legitimate taxpayers accounts, but maybe these folk have get-out-of-jail free cards stashed in their Gucci handbags and the like?

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