The DA has written to the Chairpersons of Joint Standing Committee on Defence (JSCD) requesting that the Task Team established to investigate allegations of impropriety leveled against newly elected National Assembly Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula continue its probe.
The Task Team was constituted by the JSCD in June 2021 to look into allegations that Mapisa-Nqakula accepted a series of gifts such as wigs and bribes amounting to R5 million from a businessperson contracted to the military. It is alleged that she also blew R7 million on aircraft charters, as well as staying in luxury hotels in New York and Paris.
The committee’s decision not to proceed with the investigation is premature and seems to overlook the importance of the whistleblowers’ statement, despite the fact that it raises significant claims that need comprehensive investigation. This is major concern as it suggests that the Speaker may have used her power and influence to prevent an investigation into her conduct from continuing.
We have warned that Mapisa-Nqakula’s election as Speaker of the National Assembly will strip Parliament of its power to ensure accountability and transparency. Given that Parliament will not continue the investigation against her, it is clear that the process of turning Parliament into a toothless institution has begun. The fact that she was elected to oversee the very institution that was investigating her for misconduct is a blatant betrayal of the principles that Parliament is intended to uphold.
These are serious allegations against the Speaker and must be fully investigated. If the Task Team fails to reconvene in order to thoroughly investigate the allegations, the DA will file criminal charges against the Speaker. We cannot allow a whitewashed investigation and sidelining of elected Members of Parliament to continue unabated.
The DA will do everything possible to get to the bottom of these allegations of corruption.