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South Africa

Speaker puts the ANC in the dock

Mapisa-Nqakula said she would take 'special leave' after investigators raided her home following claims of corruption and bribery  

The beleaguered African National Congress (ANC) is weighing up its options amid a damaging corruption probe against National Assembly Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula that could do more harm to its chances in May's general elections.

Last week, Mapisa-Nqakula announced she would take 'special leave' two days after investigators from the National Prosecution Authority raided her Johannesburg home. The five-hour search was linked to allegations of corruption and bribery during her time as defence minister from 2012 to 2021.

Acting Speaker, Lechesa Tsenoli, has agreed to a request for a motion of no confidence to be tabled by the opposition Democratic Alliance, although a date has not yet been set.

ANC chair Gwede Mantashe has dismissed the motion as 'opportunistic'.

'We have not had a caucus about it, but I will not support it,' he added. 

But backing the Speaker two months ahead of a general election that is set to be the closest since the restoration of democracy in South Africa in 1994, could cause more damage to the ruling party now polling below 40%.

On Monday, prosecutors set out their case against Mapisa-Nqakula in an eight-hour court ruling. The speaker is seeking a High Court injunction to delay her arrest, a decision on which is expected on 2 April.



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