South Africa’s Parliament Speaker Resigns Over Corruption Probe


South Africa’s Parliament Speaker Resigns Over Corruption Probe


South Africa’s parliament speaker has resigned, her party said on Wednesday, weeks after her home was raided in a graft probe likely to hurt the ruling ANC head of elections in May.

Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula is accused of soliciting hefty amounts in bribes from a former military contractor when she was defence minister between 2014 and 2021 before being appointed speaker.

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

The ANC valued Mapisa-Nqakula’s commitment to “maintaining the image” of the organisation by deciding to step aside before being asked to do so, it added.

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

It followed a March raid carried out by members of a top investigative team at Mapisa-Nqakula’s residence, a high-end property in an eastern suburb of Johannesburg.

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

Coming just under two months before national elections, the case has added to the woes of the ANC, which is struggling in the polls amid a weak economy and accusations of graft and mismanagement.

South Africans head to the polls in national and provincial elections on May 29.

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