Second accused set to join Mapisa-Nqakula in graft case

Second accused set to join Mapisa-Nqakula in graft case

Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula faces 12 counts of corruption and one of money laundering.

Second accused set to join Mapisa-Nqakula in graft case

The former National Assembly speaker was released on R50,000 bail in Pretoria Magistrate Court on Thursday after handing herself over to authorities at the Lyttelton police station.

While it had not opposed her release on bail, when addressing the court on the amount, the State suggested Mapisa-Nqakula pay R100,000.

Mapisa-Nqakula is accused of soliciting bribes from Nombasa Ntsondwa-Ndhlovu, the sole director of logistics company Umkhombe, Marine, which did business with the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) during Mapisa-Nqakula’s term as defence minister.

The 67-year-old entered the courtroom dressed in a blue and yellow woven kente suit, which she wore with her meticulously wrapped matching doek.

Her husband, Charles Nqakula, sat right next to her predecessor and friend, Baleka Mbete.


It emerged in court that, following the raid on Mapisa-Nqakula’s home in March, the state intends to bring a second accused to join her in the dock.

This was revealed by lead prosecutor Bheki Manyathi: “The state wants to add another accused on this matter. We can add that accused within three weeks. However, in consultation with the defence, we have agreed on a mutually suitable date which is the 4th of June.”

Earlier, defence lawyer Graham Kerr-Phillips read Mapisa-Nqakula’s bail affidavit in which she reiterated her assertion that the state’s case against her is weak.

“The sole and only evidence against me emanated from the 204 witness and is thus the evidence of a single witness and informer who, in all probability and likelihood, gave evidence of the fraud charges against her being allowed to be struck from the roll.

“The 204 witness’s evidence was not corroborated by the search and seizure evidence, safe for one wig which is one many.”

Manyathi cautioned the defence against this approach.

“I tried to be diplomatic to say to him ‘Do not go that route because you do not have disclosure’. I am the lead prosecutor. I know what is in the docket. It’s incorrect that we are relying on the evidence of a single witness.

“Even if that was the case, our law is clear it is competent for a court to convict on the evidence of a single witness. There is ample independent evidence corroborating the single witness who allegedly paid the gratifications.”

Meanwhile, speaking to the media shortly after bail was granted, Mapisa-Nqakula’s advisor Mike Ramagoma accused the State of delaying the disclosure of the case details to frustrate her efforts to prepare for the trial.


The State has committed to giving the defence the list of witnesses by Monday, 8 April, while a partial disclosure will take place on 4 June when the matter returns to court.

“May it be placed on the record that the State undertakes to disclose the evidence, the A clip, on the 4th of June. If they want disclosure beyond that, they must bring a substantive application,” Manyathi clarified.  


The state alleges that between 2016 and 2019, the 67-year-old pocketed bribes amounting to an estimated R4.5 million.

It is alleged that in November 2016, the former speaker requested the late defence secretary Sam Gulube to approach Ntsondwa-Ndlhovu for a payment of R300,000, which was made a few days later.

Gulube made another request for R400,000 on behalf of the then-minister, which prompted Ntsondwa-Ndhlovu to request a meeting with Mapisa-Nqakula.

At the meeting at a hotel near the OR Tambo International Airport, the pair allegedly agreed that future payments would be made directly to Mapisa-Nqakula.

The former minister allegedly requested more payments and gratifications, including US dollars equivalent to R150,000, R300,000, and a wig, among other things, between December 2016 and July 2019.

The money laundering charge against the former speaker concerns her allegedly receiving various amounts of cash totalling R2,550,000 from Ntsondwa-Ndhlovu.

The defence has previously contended that the raid on Mapisa-Nqakula’s home yielded no evidence to support the claims by the section 204 witness. Ramagoma also repeated this, saying that safe for the wig that was taken as evidence, the State left empty-handed.  

However, the State maintains that it has substantive evidence to support what it deems as a strong case against the former speaker.

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