Parliaments Joint Standing Committee on Defence will no longer continue with its investigation into allegations of corruption against former Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula.
This after they could not obtain an affidavit from the whistle-blower who had made the allegations to United Democratic Movement (UDM) leader Bantu Holomisa.
The sub-committee that was appointed to investigate the matter has reported that it had not received cooperation from the whistle-blower by the end of its mandate on August 31.
Earlier this year, Independent Newspapers reported that Mapisa-Nqakula had allegedly received cash and gifts totalling R5 million from a South African National Defence Force (SANDF) contractor between 2017 and 2019.
The person had reported the matter to Holomisa. After hearing from Holomisa, a subcommittee of the Joint Standing Committee was appointed to probe the allegations, but it has reported how attempts to get evidence from the whistle-blower has been thwarted.
The whistleblower was asked to submit an affidavit but had in the end declined to do so.
Their reason was that the committee had breached confidentiality because the media had seen the questions sent to them.
Members were unanimously felt that the matter cannot be taken any further.
Economic Freedom Fighter’s (EFF) Member of Parliament (MP), Kenny Motsamai felt that the committee does not have much to go on and therefore the matter should be closed.
The Africa National Congress’ MP, Thabo Mmutle warned the committee to be more careful next time when dealing with matters of this nature. He says they have the potential to tarnish people’s names.
‘It might be that the Minister was reshuffled because there were these kinds of allegations or this kind of dark cloud hanging over her, and it’s very much unfair. I’m not saying that is the case, but I’m saying these kinds of allegations as serious. As we treat them, we need to be very careful as a committee in terms of accepting these kinds of allegations. Particularly from people who are not willing to stand their ground in terms of coming forward and bringing the information,” says Mmutle.
National Assembly Speaker
Last month, Mapisa-Nqakula was elected Speaker of the National Assembly. She received two-thirds of the vote in the Assembly.
Mapisa-Nqakula was nominated alongside Dr Annelie Lotriet from the Democratic Alliance.
Her nomination was heavily criticised by opposition parties and others, some of whom say she faces serious allegations of corruption.
Judge President John Hlophe of the Western Cape High Court presided over the proceedings:
Mapisa-Nqakula elected new National Assembly speaker, gives acceptance speech: