South Africa parliament speaker resigns over corruption probe

South Africa parliament speaker resigns over corruption probe
Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula

BBC | South Africa's Speaker of Parliament Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula has resigned after police raided her home during a corruption investigation.

Ms Mapisa-Nqakula is accused of soliciting bribes in return for awarding contracts during her time as defence minister.

She has denied the charges and said her resignation was "in no way an indication or admission of guilt".

She said given the "seriousness" of the probe she could not continue her role.

The 67-year-old veteran of the anti-apartheid struggle became speaker in 2021. Before that, she served as defence minister for seven years.

Last week Ms Mapisa-Nqakula's lawyers filed a request for a court order to prevent her arrest, saying it would infringe on her dignity.

On Tuesday, judges rejected her bid on the basis that the matter was not urgent and they could not speculate on an arrest that was yet to happen.

Ms Mapisa-Nqakula is accused of making several demands for money, amounting to $120,000 (£96,000), from the owner of a company to secure a tender to transport army equipment back to South Africa from elsewhere on the continent, the Business Day newspaper reports.

The resignation comes ahead of next month's general election, which some believe could be difficult for the governing African National Congress (ANC).

The party, which has been in power since 1994, has faced repeated allegations of corruption and mismanagement of public funds, which have become a key election issue.

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