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Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula appears before the Pretoria magistrate's court, June 4 2024. Picture: SUPPLIED
Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula appears before the Pretoria magistrate's court, June 4 2024. Picture: SUPPLIED

The case of former National Assembly speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula has been transferred to the Pretoria high court for trial.

Mapisa-Nqakula, who appeared briefly in the Pretoria magistrate’s court on Tuesday where an indictment was served to the defence, faces 12 charges of corruption and one of money-laundering for allegedly receiving kickbacks from a defence contract when she was defence minister.

She allegedly asked for R4,550,000, of which R2,150,000 was paid in cash.

Her next court appearance is October 16.

The corruption allegations were made by well-known defence industry businessperson Nombasa Ntsondwa-Ndhlovu, the sole director of logistics company Umkhombe Marine, which did business with the SA National Defence Force (SANDF).

In February 2016, the company was awarded a contract valued at R104m.

According to the indictment, a few days after the awarding of the contract, Ntsondwa-Ndhlovu was told the contract had been suspended. To rectify the situation, she contacted certain people and was provided with Mapisa-Nqakula’s contact number, which she phoned to investigate the matter.

In November 2016, Mapisa-Nqakula allegedly requested late secretary of defence Sam Gulube to approach Ntsondwa-Ndhlovu and ask her for R300,000, which Ntsondwa-Ndhlovu handed in cash to Gulube a few days later.

According to the state, a second request was allegedly made again by Gulube on behalf of Mapisa-Nqakula for an amount of R400,000. Ntsondwa-Ndhlovu decided not to pay and instead sought a meeting with Mapisa-Nqakula.

In December 2016, a person known only as Nozuko arranged with Ntsondwa-Ndhlovu to meet Mapisa-Nqakula at a hotel. In the meeting, Mapisa-Nqakula allegedly confirmed she sent Gulube to Ntsondwa-Ndhlovu to ask for R300,000 and R400,000, and it was agreed future engagements would be directly between Mapisa-Nqakula and Ntsondwa-Ndhlovu.

According to the state, from December 1 2016 to July 30 2019, Mapisa-Nqakula allegedly asked for cash payments and a wig from Ntsondwa-Ndhlovu.

Of the kickbacks allegedly requested by Mapisa-Nqakula, R4.5m constituted gratifications and R2.1m constituted proceeds of unlawful activities as defined in the Prevention of Organised Crime Act.

Mapisa-Nqakula was doing building renovations and decorations at her residence and procured a service provider. It is alleged about R1,670,000 was paid in cash to the service providers at various stages. Some of the gratifications were allegedly used to pay the service provider.

She handed herself over at Lyttelton police station in April after her failed court bid to interdict her pending arrest. She is out on R50,000 bail and had to surrender her passport. She may not communicate directly or indirectly, or interfere, with state witnesses.

In her bail bid affidavit, Mapisa-Nqakula told the court she was clueless about the case brought against her. She said the evidence against her was based on witnesses but such evidence was not corroborated during the search and seizure at her home.

Mapisa-Nqakula said her arrest could be politically motivated. 

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