Wed. Jul 24th, 2024
Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula

Pretoria, July 9, 2024 — Acting Chief Magistrate Vusimuzi Mahlangu confirmed on Tuesday that former Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Mapisa-Nqakula, has been served with an indictment to appear before the High Court in Pretoria. The trial is set to commence on October 16.

The case was transferred to the superior court for trial, following a brief appearance by Mapisa-Nqakula last month, as previously reported by IOL. During that appearance, the court had postponed her case to Tuesday, at which time she was officially served with the indictment.

The Investigating Directorate (ID) of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has emphasized that Mapisa-Nqakula remains the sole accused in this high-profile corruption case. This development follows an earlier court session in April, where it was anticipated that she would appear alongside a co-accused. However, by June, Mapisa-Nqakula appeared alone, with the ID citing insufficient evidence to pursue charges against any other individuals.

Henry Mamothame, spokesperson for the ID, clarified the situation last month: “We had to engage the evidence before us. Remember, it was only one charge of money laundering. After further engagement between our investigators and our prosecution team, the ID decided not to pursue the second accused. This is based on the fact that the evidence before us was not sufficient for us to pursue the second accused person.”

Despite this, the ID maintains that there is substantial evidence to prosecute Mapisa-Nqakula. “We are here (Pretoria Magistrate’s Court) to serve an indictment and to get a high court date. We feel that the matter has to go to the high court owing to its serious nature,” Mamothame asserted.

The court extended Mapisa-Nqakula’s R50,000 bail to July 9 under the same conditions. She was initially released on this bail amount in April after appearing in a packed Pretoria Magistrate’s Court. The State had requested bail to be set at R100,000, but Mapisa-Nqakula, now a pensioner, pleaded that she could only afford R50,000.

As part of her bail conditions, Mapisa-Nqakula surrendered her passport and was ordered not to contact any of the State’s witnesses, either directly or indirectly. Her initial court appearance on April 4 followed her voluntary surrender to police at the Lyttelton police station in Tshwane.

Mapisa-Nqakula faces 12 counts of corruption under the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act (Preca) and one count of money laundering under the Prevention of Organised Crime Act (Poca). The charges stem from allegations that she solicited R4.5 million from a defence contractor, ultimately receiving R2.1 million. The prosecution asserts that it has clear evidence regarding the use of the received funds.

This trial will scrutinize the former minister’s actions during her tenure overseeing South Africa’s military, marking a significant chapter in the country’s efforts to combat high-level corruption.

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