No money from DoD for Mapisa-Nqakula legal battles

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Current defence and military veterans minister Thandi Modise put paid to any possibility of Department of Defence (DoD) funding for her predecessor who faces corruption charges involving over R4 million.

Addressing a Sunday briefing in Centurion on the state of the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) in line with its 30th anniversary, Modise went off-topic to make it clear Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula would not be receiving financial aid from the DoD for her legal defence against 12 counts of corruption and one of money laundering.

“On the matter pertaining to an application by the former Minister of Defence and Military veterans for a state sponsored legal representation in her corruption case, following thorough consideration with relevant authorities, we have concluded that the applicant is not eligible for such a benefit. Section 6.2 of the State Legal Representation Policy states that the cover ‘applies to any claim lodged or commenced against any person arising from and/or directly connected with an alleged act and/or omission on the part of applicant in the execution of official duties or where applicant objectively and in good faith believed that he or she was acting within the course and scope of employment, or is based on any grounds arising from or connected with applicant’s official duties,” the Modise statement released at the Logistics Support Formation in Lyttelton Manor, Centurion read in part.

“Guided by this policy, we have come to a conclusion that the allegations levelled against the former Minister are not linked to the execution of her duties, at the time. Correspondence to this effect has been sent to applicant and the matter is now officially closed.”

Mapisa-Nqakula’s alleged involvement in ill-doing goes back as far as 2016 and apparently initially centred around shipping and return to South Africa of SA National Defence Force (SANDF) equipment from Sudan’s Darfur. It, along with a second similar contract to return military equipment to South Africa from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), were awarded to Umkhombe Marine, a company headed by former AMD (SA Aerospace, Maritime and Defence Industries Association) chair Nombasa Ntsondwa-Ndhlovu, form the basis of charges against Mapisa-Nqakula.

Her upmarket home in Johannesburg’s Bruma was subjected to an intensive hours long search by National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) investigators with its Investigating directorate (ID) saying corruption allegations involving Mapisa-Nqakula were being investigated.

Post her term as Minister of Defence and Military Veterans she was named National Assembly (NA) Speaker in August 2021. When the corruption allegations surfaced in March, Mapisa-Nqakula denied them and committed to working with the NPA. She resigned in April. In addition to presenting herself at Centurion’s Lyttelton Police Station and handing her passport to police, Mapisa-Nqakula appeared in court and was granted R50 000 bail with a next court appearance set down for June.