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Mapisa-Nqakula given every ‘courtesy’ and has no case against NPA or police, says lead prosecutor

A raid was conducted at Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula's home in Bruma on Tuesday.
A raid was conducted at Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula's home in Bruma on Tuesday.

National Assembly speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula has been afforded every courtesy, which many would be “grateful for”, in attempts by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and the police to “arrest her” and process her through the courts.

This is according to lead prosecutor advocate Bheki Manyathi in the case against her in his affidavit opposing her urgent bid to stop her arrest on corruption charges involving R4.5m while she was defence minister and access to the docket.

She claims the case against her has been trumped up to sully her image in the run-up to the national and provincial elections and trigger the ANC’s step-aside rule and she is being subjected to trial by media.

Manyathi said the court application, set down to be heard on Monday, is not urgent and she had not made a case for an interdict, whether interim or final.

“The applicant does not have a right not to be arrested. No such right exists in law. The case against her is strong,” he said.

“The right to liberty is not threatened. I have made it clear to her legal representative [attorney Stephen May] that the state will not oppose bail. However, it is still imperative that she be processed so her matter is enrolled for trial. To mitigate infringement on her alleged rights we suggested she be presented at a police station by her legal representative,” Manyathi said.

He said Mapisa-Nqakula had been informed she could report to a local police station with her attorney, she could travel in his own car to the court on the same day and the NPA had repeatedly said they did not consider her a flight risk and would not oppose bail.

However, he could not give an undertaking she would not be arrested should she fail to comply with this arrangement.

She did not have the right to access the docket now “because she has not been charged” and the trial has not been set down, he said.

Chief investigator Dylan Perumal first contacted Mapisa-Nqakula on March 8. In subsequent conversations he told her a decision had been taken to prosecute her. She informed him she was travelling overseas.

On March 17, May called Perumal asking for further details. A search of Mapisa-Nqakula’s home was made on March 19.

Manyathi said she could have been arrested then. Instead, she was informed she should surrender herself at Lyttelton SAPS where she would be processed, charged and taken to court for an unopposed bail hearing.

“We have not reneged on that agreement. I cannot say the same about Mapisa-Nqakula and her legal representative,” he said.

Manyathi said he had communicated with May who wanted to know why his client was not being summonsed to appear in court.

“I replied I did not consider it appropriate given the seriousness of the matter and public perception consistency in dealing with different accused persons regardless of their socioeconomic status, political factors [and] charges they may face.

“I also stated we required the court to set a substantial amount of bail that will act as an incentive for her not to abscond.”

May had indicated he was not available until early April. He asked for an undertaking not to arrest his client.

Then on Friday March 22 he filed an urgent application, set down for April 9, seeking an interdict restraining her arrest, full disclosure of the docket and copies of the pocketbooks of the investigators.

With no undertaking not to arrest her, May then set down another urgent application to be heard on Monday seeking interim relief pending finalisation of the application to be heard on April 9.

“It is abundantly clear that May and his client believe there is no case against her. There is evidence under oath that gratifications [bribes] were asked for by the applicant and given to her in cash and a wig. It is also clear they believe we are relying on the uncorroborated evidence of a single witness. This is incorrect.

“Besides the whistle-blower’s affidavit there is ample independent evidence. The wig was received [found] during a lawful search at her residence.”

Manyathi shared the schedule of the charge sheet reflecting the corruption charges. He said it was open to a prosecutor to reconsider a decision to prosecute and to withdraw charges if new information came to light.

“However, we cannot be seen to be dictated to by a suspect on how and when to enrol the matter. That will create a dangerous precedent.

“We did not at the outset set out to put the applicant in handcuffs and parade her in the streets for all to see. We did not and still maintain we do not have intentions of detaining her in a police cell for 48 hours. The NPA sought to make it as painless as possible. Now she seeks an order interdicting the organs of state from performing their duties.

“The applicant in this matter has been given a courtesy that many would be grateful for. The issue is she desires to escape the clutches of the long arm of the law,” Manyathi said.

The matter has been stood down until Monday for the NPA to submit an answering affidavit.



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