Accountability Now director urges Mapisa-Nqakula’s resignation amid bribery allegations, calling her leave a credibility issue.

Accountability Now executive director Paul Hoffman says it will be “much more credible” if National Assembly Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula resigns “because of the allegations against her”.

His comments come after Mapisa-Nqakula said she would be taking “special leave” following rumours of her pending arrest.

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Parliamentary rules on special leave make provision for its granting on approval of the political party “for extraordinary purposes or incidents not limited to appearing before a court, traditional initiation, cultural training or attending block study classes”.

“She ought to resign to serve the sanctity of the position that she is in,” said Hoffman.

“Going on special leave until 28 May is just a way of her earning money – doing nothing for the last days of her term in office.

“Taking leave from office is not indicating any seriousness in the fight against corruption. “She ought to fall on her sword and resign,” he said.

Independent political analyst Sandile Swana said: “Here was a minister who was previously accused of illegally smuggling a person into the country using an SA National Defence Force (SANDF) aircraft.

“Despite her being known for her culture of abusing state resources, Ramaphosa appointed her as speaker.

“It was clear she was going to be arrested in office and had no choice but to avoid the embarrassment, prompting her to take leave of absence.

“This isn’t an indication of a country moving to clean up corruption from an ANC perspective.”

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Mapisa-Nqakula has been implicated in a sworn affidavit submitted to the Investigative Directorate by Nombasa Ntsondwa-Ndhlovu.

She is the owner of Umkhombe Marine, which apparently gained R210 million from SANDF tenders in 2019.

There has been mounting pressure from opposition parties for Mapisa-Nqakula to be thoroughly investigated.

A last-ditch attempt by her to take special leave of office – later filing court papers to interdict law enforcement agencies from her imminent arrest – marks the end of her tenure as speaker, says United Democratic Movement (UDM) leader Bantu Holomisa.

He said he was being “vindicated” by her latest woes. This stems from Mapisa-Nqakula being implicated in bribery allegations involving more than R2.3 million dating back to her time as defence minister.

Holomisa was the first MP to raise the corruption claims before parliament’s joint standing committee on defence in 2021.

But parliament dropped the probe in September that year due to noncooperation from the whistle-blower.

“We have been vindicated, this is the end of her tenure as a speaker. Taking of leave is a smart way to say she has resigned. We can’t have a speaker who is going in and out of the courts,” said Holomisa.


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