Ex-speaker to face music in high court

South Africa - Pretoria - 09 July 2024. Former Minister of Defense Nosiviwe Mapisa Nqakula appearing before the Pretoria magistrate's court for fraud.Picture: Oupa Mokoena / Independent Newspapers

South Africa - Pretoria - 09 July 2024. Former Minister of Defense Nosiviwe Mapisa Nqakula appearing before the Pretoria magistrate's court for fraud.Picture: Oupa Mokoena / Independent Newspapers

Published Jul 10, 2024


The corruption case of former National Assembly speaker, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, has been moved to the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria, with her first appearance scheduled for October 16, for a pretrial conference to pave the way for the trial.

The Pretoria Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday postponed the corruption and money-laundering case against Mapisa-Nqakula, and she was served with the original indictment, setting out the charges against her.

The charges relate to her tenure between 2016 and 2019 when she was minister of defence, wherein she allegedly received and solicited approximately R4.5 million from a service provider to the department of which R2.1m was in cash.

The official indictment listed 26 witnesses which the State is intending to call, including UDM leader, General Bantu Holomisa.

A summary of facts on which the State will rely on to prove its case, formed part of the indictment.

It states that Nombasa Ntsondwa-Ndhlovu - the State’s star witness - was at the time of the alleged offences, the sole director of Umkhombe Marine Pty Ltd.

The core business of Umkhombe was to provide logistics services to the South African National Defence Force on a procurement basis.

In February 2016, Umkhombe was awarded a contract to the value of R104 million by the SANDF.

A few days after the award of this contract. Nombasa was informed by the SANDF that the contract was suspended.

In an effort to rectify the situation, Nombasa contacted certain people, and she was provided with Mapisa-Nqakula’s contact number. According to the indictment, Nombasa called the former speaker about the suspended contract and the latter undertook to investigate the matter.

On or about November 2016, Mapisa-Nqakula allegedly requested the late Secretary of Defence, Dr Sam Gulube, to approach Nombasa and ask her for R300 000.

Nombasa allegedly handed R300 000 in cash to Gulube a few days later. It is claimed that a second request was made by Gulube on behalf of the accused for an amount of R400 000.

Nombasa apparently decided not to pay, and instead sought a meeting with Mapisa-Nqakula.

In December 2016, one Nozuko arranged with Nombasa for her to meet the accused at the Intercontinental Hotel at OR Tambo International Airport, the indictment read.

It is alleged that during this meeting, Mapisa-Nqakula confirmed that she had indeed sent Gulube to Nombasa to ask for both the R300 000 and R400 000.

It was allegedly agreed that all future engagements would be directly between Mapisa-Nqakula and Nombasa.

It is alleged by the prosecution that between December 2016 up to July 2019, the accused asked for cash payments and a wig from Nombasa.

It is claimed that of the R4 550 000 asked for by Mapisa-Nqakula, Nombasa paid a total of R2 150 000 in cash to her.

The R4 550 000 constituted gratifications as defined in the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act, while the R2 150 000 constituted proceeds of unlawful activities as defined in the Prevention of Organised Crime Act, the State said in the indictment.

It is further alleged that Mapisa-Nqakula was doing building renovations and decorations at her residence at some stage and had procured the services of service providers for that purpose.

“A total of approximately R1 670 000.00 was paid in cash to the service providers at various stages. Part of the gratifications / proceeds of unlawful activities were utilised to pay the service providers,” the State claimed.

Prosecutor Bheki Manyathi told the media after Tuesday’s proceedings that the National Prosecuting Authority definitely had a case against Mapisa-Nqakula to which she must answer in court. He said although Nombasa was one of the main witnesses, the prosecution had several other witnesses to back the allegations.

Manyathi added that some items which were confiscated during a raid on the former Speaker’s home, were also confirmation of the State’s case against her.

Mapisa-Nqakula is out on R50 000 bail.

Pretoria News

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