D-day for Speaker Mapisa-Nqakula as High Court rules on her bid to block arrest

Former Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula. File Picture: Bongani Shilulbane/Independent Media

Former Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula. File Picture: Bongani Shilulbane/Independent Media

Published Apr 2, 2024


The High Court in Pretoria is on Tuesday set to deliver judgement on an urgent application filed by embattled National Assembly Speaker, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, to interdict an impending arrest amid ongoing corruption investigations.

On Monday last week, IOL reported that when the 94-page application was presented before Judge Sulet Potterill, the judge ruled that Mapisa-Nqakula would not be arrested in the interim.

However, Potterill said the decision to arrest will be withheld until her ruling on Tuesday.

Potterill heard Mapisa-Nqakula's urgent application on Monday last week to interdict the National Prosecuting Authority's (NPA) Investigating Directorate (ID) from arresting her.

The High Court in Pretoria. File Picture: Oupa Mokoena/Independent Media

Initially, on the day, Potterill postponed the court proceedings to 3pm so that she could review the court papers submitted by both parties.

During the proceedings, the Speaker's legal counsel, Reg Willis, argued against her arrest, stating that she posed no risk of self-harm, harm to others, or interference with witnesses.

Mapisa-Nqakula, who was Minister of Defence from 2012 to 2021, is accused of receiving millions of rand in cash as bribes from a military contractor when she was defence minister. She has vehemently denied any wrongdoing.

In court papers seen by IOL, Mapisa-Nqakula prays to the High Court in Pretoria to interdict five respondents, including National Director of Public Prosecutions, advocate Shamila Batohi and Minister of Police Bheki Cele from instituting an arrest against her.

In part, the notice of motion reads: “Be pleased to take note that the above-named applicant (Mapisa-Nqakula) intends to make application on Tuesday 9 April 2024 at 2pm for an order in the following … interdicting and restraining the first to fifth respondents, or their agents, from arresting the applicant, whether under section 40 or 43 of the Criminal Procedure Act, 51 of 1977”.

Speaker of the National Assembly, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula. File Picture: Phando Jikelo/Independent Media

Last month, IOL reported that Mapisa-Nqakula expressed her willingness to cooperate with law enforcement agencies, should they need to arrest her for the alleged corruption.

She said while she had not received any formal communication from the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) about the arrest, she will cooperate with the authorities.

Mapisa-Nqakula said she also took leave of absence as Speaker and has informed Secretary to Parliament, Xolile George and President Cyril Ramaphosa.

The Speaker’s arrest was highly anticipated, following a raid at her house in Johannesburg last month.

The raid was linked to a probe into alleged corruption during her term as defence minister.

“I wish to place it on record, that while the Investigative Directorate of the National Prosecution Authority conducted a search and seizure at my residence, there has been no formal notification of an arrest warrant or communication regarding an imminent arrest for me, neither to me nor my legal team,” Mapisa-Nqakula said in a statement at the time.

“My lawyers have, however, proactively informed the National Prosecution Authority of my readiness to comply and cooperate should the need arise.”

She said she has also decided to take special leave, given the nature of the allegations and speculation on her future.

She said this was to protect the integrity of Parliament.

Last week, Deputy President Paul Mashatile asked that Mapisa-Nqakula be given a chance to clear her name in the courts rather than being forced to quit.

Deputy President Paul Mashatile. File Picture: Doctor Ngcobo

He said Mapisa-Nqakula has already indicated that she has co-operated with law enforcement agencies who are investigating her on charges of corruption.