‘Don’t let them arrest me’: Speaker Mapisa-Nqakula files urgent High Court bid to interdict Minister Bheki Cele, NPA from arresting her

Speaker of Parliament, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula with Minister of Police Bheki Cele. File Picture: Sibonelo Ngcobo / Independent Newspapers

Speaker of Parliament, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula with Minister of Police Bheki Cele. File Picture: Sibonelo Ngcobo / Independent Newspapers

Published Mar 22, 2024


Embattled Speaker of Parliament, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula has launched an application for an urgent high court interdict against being arrested by the South African Police Service, amid an ongoing corruption investigation.

On Friday morning, the SABC reported that Mapisa-Nqakula had handed herself to police at the Pretoria Central police station, where she was anticipated to be charged and processed for court.

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 North Gauteng 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.

Speaker of Parliament, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula. File Picture: Phando Jikelo / Independent Newspapers

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”.

The former minister of defence and military veterans was on Friday expected to appear in court for the alleged corruption, according to broadcasters eNCA and Newzroom Afrika.

On Thursday, 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 early on Tuesday.

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.