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South Africa’s Parliament Speaker’s Home Raided Over Corruption Allegations

South Africa’s elite police unit has conducted a raid on the Johannesburg home of parliament speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, regarding allegations of corruption during her tenure as defence minister.

Mapisa-Nqakula has been accused of soliciting bribes in exchange for awarding contracts while she was serving as defence minister. A statement from parliament affirmed her innocence, stating that she maintains a strong conviction of her innocence.

The police action was carried out at the behest of state prosecutors who have been investigating the matter. Parliament’s statement noted that Mapisa-Nqakula cooperated fully during the five-hour search, welcoming the investigators into her home.

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The 67-year-old, a veteran of the anti-apartheid struggle, assumed the role of speaker in 2021 after serving as defence minister for seven years. Allegations against her suggest that she demanded money, totaling US$120,000 (£96,000), from a company owner to secure a tender for transporting army equipment back to South Africa from elsewhere on the continent.

President Cyril Ramaphosa, who took office in 2018, has made tackling corruption a key focus of his administration. His predecessor, Jacob Zuma, faced accusations of overseeing a vast effort to misappropriate state resources, charges he denies.

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