National Assembly Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula may not win her urgent bid to block the state from arresting her, but she has ensured it will not charge her until next week – which is when her lawyers want her to hand herself over to the police.

While the NPA was adamant that people facing charges should not be able to dictate the terms under which they would appear in court, it has agreed not to arrest the Speaker until Gauteng High Court (Pretoria) Judge Sulet Potterill has ruled on her bid to block her arrest on 2 April – the day before her lawyers had suggested she could appear in court. 

They maintain that the state's attempted prosecution of Mapisa-Nqakula has been defined by illegality – which the NPA vehemently denies.

By 10 March, the decision was taken to prosecute Mapisa-Nqakula over claims she solicited bribes from a defence contractor between 2017 and 2019 while she was Defence Minister.

‘The fact that a search-and-seizure was effected on 19 March 2024 does not mean that the investigation is incomplete,’ said Investigating Directorate Deputy DPP Bheki Manyathi in his court papers. ‘I reiterate that the investigation is complete.’

The Daily Maverick reports that the 12 corruption counts totalling ‘gratification’ of R4 550 000 emerge later in the affidavit, which also outlines the search-and-seizure operation at Mapsia-Nqakula’s Johannesburg home that put the public spotlight on this bribery claim saga.

During that search, documents relating to renovation at the home were also seized.

In his affidavit, Manyathi expressed ‘surprise’ at Mapisa-Nqakula’s interdict and discovery application because engagements about her handing herself over were still ongoing and she’d been assured bail would not be opposed – and dismissed the need for urgency.

‘An arrest alone cannot create urgency. This is particularly the case where there is no apprehension of detention,’ he said, adding later: ‘(Mapisa-Nqakula) does not have a right not to be arrested. No such right exists in law. The case against the applicant is strong…’

However, in her application on Friday, Mapisa-Nqakula claimed irregularities in the investigation and by investigators.

‘I have devoted the majority of my adult life to the pursuit of the rule of law and constitutional democracy, and the demise of the security state in SA. The machinery of the criminal justice system and the state’s prerogative of prosecution was abused and used as a political tool then. I verily fear that this practice has once again reared its ugly head and, if not stopped, carries the real risk of further fraying the constitutional fabric of our young democracy,’ it reads.

The DM notes that Manyathi’s affidavit denied irregularities and that the ID had undermined Mapisa-Nqakula’s dignity and good reputation.

‘Any threat to these rights, which is denied, is mitigated by the fact that we have extended the courtesy to her to present herself in the accompany (sic) of her legal representative. I have stated that we would like to make the process as seamless as possible.’

Her claim to get the state’s whole case was misplaced and premature because once this matter was enrolled, a court may well rule that she must receive all documents, he noted.

Full Daily Maverick report