South Africa: Speaker Parliament Resigns Over Graft Probe

Thu Apr 04 2024
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JOHANNESBURG, South Africa: Speaker of South Africa’s parliament, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, has resigned, her party said Wednesday, weeks after her home was raided in a graft probe.

The development is likely to hurt the ruling African National Congress (ANC) ahead of elections in May.

She is accused of receiving heavy amounts in bribes from a former military contractor while being defence minister between 2014 and 2021 before being appointed House speaker.

“The African National Congress (ANC) can confirm that Comrade Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula’s resignation letter has been officially received,” the party said in a statement.

The party valued Mapisa-Nqakula’s commitment to “maintaining the image” of the organisation by deciding to step aside before being asked to do so, the statement said further.

Earlier this week, a country court had rejected an urgent plea by the speaker seeking to prevent her possible arrest.

The court ruling followed a raid in March that was carried out by a top investigative team at the former speaker’s residence, an expensive property in Johannesburg’s eastern suburb.

Local media reports had alleged the ANC veteran had solicited 2.3 million rand ($121,000) in bribes from a former military contractor.

Coming just under two months before May 29 national polls, the development has added to the woes of the ruling party, ANC, which is struggling in the surveys amid accusations of graft and mismanagement and a weak economy.

The nation is heading to the polls in national and provincial elections on May 29.

The ANC is in power since the advent of democracy in 1994, and is expected to see its share of the vote drop below 50 percent for the first time, potentially forcing it to enter into a coalition to remain in power.

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