South Asia and Beyond

South Africa’s Parliament Speaker Accused Of Taking $135,000 And A Wig As Bribe

Prosecutors said Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula received more than $15,000 and a wig from an unidentified person during a meeting at the country's international airport.
 South Africa’s Parliament Speaker Accused Of Taking $135,000 And A Wig As Bribe

File Picture of South African President Cyril Ramaphosa standing next to Speaker of the National Assembly of South Africa Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, left, ahead of his state of the nation address at the City Hall in Cape Town on February 8, 2024. (AP)

South Africa’s Parliament Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula faces charges of accepting $135,000 and a wig in bribes during her earlier term as defence minister, prosecutors said on Monday.
According to a chargesheet filed in the court, Mapisa-Nqakula accepted 11 payments totalling $135,000 between December 2016 and July 2019. At a meeting at the country’s international airport in February 2019, she received more than $15,000 and a wig, it says. Prosecutors said she had sought another bribe of $105,000, but that wasn’t paid. The person who allegedly paid the bribes was not named.
Mapisa-Nqakula, who has taken a leave of absence from her role as South Africa’s Parliament speaker, has denied any wrongdoing and agreed to cooperate with authorities after they searched her home in Johannesburg and seized evidence last week. The prosecutors, who allowed her to surrender at a police station and be taken to court to be formally charged, said they would not oppose her bail.
She was previously accused of taking bribes, but a parliamentary investigation was dropped in 2021. The case re-emerged after a whistleblower came forward last year, prosecutors said.
Her case is the latest graft scandal to hit the ruling African National Congress party, which faces a pivotal national election on May 29.
South Africa, a member of BRICS, has been in the news recently for taking Israel to the International Court of Justice, alleging it was committing genocide against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and contravening the Genocide Convention.
(With inputs from AP)
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