No sign of Mapisa-Nqakula outside Lyttleton police station amid resignation

No sign of Mapisa-Nqakula outside Lyttleton police station amid resignation

After losing her court bid to stave off her arrest in the High Court in Pretoria on Tuesday, National Assembly Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula has to voluntarily hand herself over to police or face arrest.

Lyttleton Police Station
Masechaba Sefularo/Jacaranda FM News

When approaching the courts, the speaker had contended she could only avail herself to police on Wednesday, 3 April, when her lawyer, Steven May, would be available to accompany her to the police station.

She claimed the state had abused its authority and sought to denude her of her right to have legal representation of her choosing, and that this alleged conduct was designed to lead her to incriminate herself in the absence of her lawyer.

Mapisa-Nqakula faces corruption charges linked to allegations she pocketed millions in kickbacks during her tenure as defence minister.

She announced her resignation as speaker and MP on Wednesday afternoon.

READ MORE: Court dismisses Mapisa-Nqakula’s application to block her arrest

Several media stood waiting outside the police station where, if she does hand herself over to authorities, the Speaker is expected to undergo police processing in the corruption investigation against her.  

In the statement deposed by the section 204 witness, Mapisa-Nqakula is accused of soliciting and pocketing bribes of more than R2.3 million from a prominent army contractor.

She failed in her urgent court bid to have what she dubs her “unlawful” arrest interdicted after Judge Sulet Potteril found that she had been treated with leniency and courtesy when state representatives told her, in March, to hand herself over.

When striking the matter of the roll for lack of urgency, Potteril said that the court could not dictate to the state how it must conduct its case.

“In the answering affidavit to this application, the [national director of public prosecutions] confirms that it will not oppose bail. Arrest without intention simply is not urgent. It is certainly not within the power of this court to instruct the minister and his officials to summon the applicant to court versus to arrest her.”

Speaking after the court judgment, National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson Mthunzi refused to state when - if at all - the speaker would be arrested.

“We don’t discuss issues of arrest, evidential issues, witnesses, investigative processes in the media. But obviously, the wheels of justice will now be in motion.”

Political parties have amplified their call for Mapisa-Nqakula to vacate her role as Parliament speaker, while urging authorities to arrest her immediately.

In the main application to stave off her arrest, which is expected to be heard next Tuesday, the speaker says she was threatened with arrest and the enrolment of the matter in court on 22 March.

While in court last week, her lawyer Reginald Willis SC argued the state’s conduct was akin to “terror tactics”.

Mapisa-Nqakula, who is 67 years old, says placing her in a police cell would be a threat to her health and her life.

Despite this, her advisor Mike Ramagoma says she is still willing to cooperate with authorities.

“There are discussion with the NPA to agree on the way forward, a date at which

News24 reported on Wednesday that Mapisa-Nqakula’s lawyers were still trying to negotiate for her to be summonsed to court, instead of being arrested and applying for bail.

Should she be formerly charged, the speaker faces a schedule five bail application where the onus would be on her that the interest of justice permit her release.


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