NPA Defends Handling of Corruption Case Against Former Speaker Mapisa-Nqakula

The NPA in South Africa faces criticism over its handling of a corruption case against a former government official, but the NPA defends its actions as standard practice, highlighting its achievements in prosecuting corruption.

Israel Ojoko
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NPA Defends Handling of Corruption Case Against Former Speaker Mapisa-Nqakula

NPA Defends Handling of Corruption Case Against Former Speaker Mapisa-Nqakula

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) in South Africa has faced criticism from the media over its handling of the corruption case against former National Assembly Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula.

NPA head Shamila Batohi has defended the NPA's actions, stating that it is common practice for prosecutors to make arrangements with lawyers to bring suspects to court, especially in white-collar crime cases.

Mapisa-Nqakula faces 12 counts of corruption and one of money laundering, accused of soliciting bribes from a logistics company that did business with the South African National Defence Force during her time as defence minister. She resigned as speaker and MP before appearing in court, where she was granted bail of R50,000.

Addressing a media roundtable, National Director of Public Prosecutions Shamila Batohi criticized accusations made against the NPA regarding its handling of the case. Batohi stated that Mapisa-Nqakula did not receive preferential treatment and that the NPA's approach to securing her attendance in court is a normal practice for prosecutors that has been standard for the past 30 years.

Why this matters: The corruption case against a high-profile former government official has put the spotlight on the NPA's handling of such cases. The public scrutiny underscores the importance of transparency and fairness in the prosecution of corruption, especially when it involves prominent figures.

Batohi also highlighted the NPA's achievements over the past five years, including the conviction of almost 700 government officials for corruption and the recovery of over R14 billion in state capture assets.

The NPA has established partnerships with law enforcement agencies to deal with the recommendations of the Zondo Commission on state capture. However, Batohi acknowledged that the NPA cannot prosecute its way out of the corruption crisis and that a whole-of-society response is needed.

Batohi emphasized the NPA's commitment to prosecuting corruption cases, stating, "Many well-known individuals, including some of the most influential former leaders in both the public and private sectors, are being prosecuted by the NPA." She noted that the NPA is achieving high conviction rates, especially in the Specialised Commercial Crimes Courts.

Key Takeaways

  • NPA faces criticism over handling of corruption case against ex-Speaker Mapisa-Nqakula.
  • NPA head Batohi defends NPA's actions as common practice for white-collar crime cases.
  • Mapisa-Nqakula faces 12 corruption and 1 money laundering charges, granted R50,000 bail.
  • NPA has convicted 700 govt officials and recovered R14B in state capture assets.
  • NPA committed to prosecuting high-profile corruption cases, achieving high conviction rates.