Struggling former speaker of the National Assembly, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, purportedly sought financial assistance from the South African Defence Force (SANDF) to cover her legal expenses in her corruption case.

Thandi Modise considering Mapisa-Nqakula’s request

The Head of Legal Service in the South African National Defence Force, Major General Eric Mnisi, reportedly sent a letter to the State Attorney’s office without the knowledge of Minister of Defence and Military Veterans Thandi Modise.

In the letter, Mnisi indicated they planned to cover Mapisa-Nqakula’s legal expenses.

According to The Citizen, on Friday, the Department of Defence confirmed that Modise had received a request from her predecessor on 19 April.

The request asked the department to assist with legal representation in her corruption case.

Amos Phago, spokesperson for Modise, stated that the department is currently reviewing Mapisa-Nqakula’s request.

The request, unfortunately, bypassed Minister Modise and Secretary of Defence Dr Thobekile Gamede, as Major General Eric Mnisi, Head of Legal Service in the South African National Defence Force, initially handled it.

This occurred before seeking advice or approval from the Minister or the Secretary of Defence, the department’s accounting officer, especially concerning matters involving financial implications for the department.

Modise stated that Mnisi’s handling of the issue without adhering to established protocols amounts to a “disrespect of executive authority in the Department of Defence.”

“I have instructed the Secretary of Defence Dr Gamade to look into General Mnisi’s handling of the matter from an administrative and process point of view as there are protocols that must be followed for such requests.” said Modise.

Phago mentioned that Modise is carefully considering Mapisa-Nqakula’s request and will evaluate it in accordance with legal regulations, aiming to safeguard public funds.

Mapisa-Nqakula’s career blown away

Mapisa-Nqakula reportedly received R2.3 million in cash, delivered in gift bags, from defence businessperson Nombasa Ntsondwa-Ndhlovu.

Ntsondwa-Ndhlovu is married to a general in the military health service.

According to the Daily Maverick, the State indicated it wouldn’t contest bail. However, because Mapisa-Nqakula faces a Schedule 5 offence, she must demonstrate why bail should be granted.

In her affidavit, presented by her lawyer Graham Kerr-Phillips, Mapisa-Nqakula asserted she wasn’t likely to flee, emphasizing that doing so would jeopardize her state pension, which she relied upon financially.

The former Speaker emphasised that surrendering to the police earlier that morning demonstrated her commitment to the rule of law and showed no intentions of escaping.

Mapisa-Nqakula argued that her incarceration would harm her family’s welfare and asserted that being granted bail wouldn’t compromise justice, stating, “I am not a threat to the State if released.”

She noted that the search of her home yielded no evidence supporting the corruption allegation against her and contended that the prosecution’s case was weak.

Responding to Mapisa-Nqakula’s affidavit, Prosecutor Bheki Manyathi stated that the State wouldn’t contest the bail application.

Manyathi explained that the State took into account Mapisa-Nqakula’s surrender to authorities, her age, and her health condition when reaching this decision not to oppose bail.

Mapisa-Nqakula was released on a R50 000n bail.



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