South African Parliament Speaker's home searched, evidence seized in bribery probe

A special investigations unit in South Africa searched the home of the Speaker of Parliament on Tuesday and seized evidence as part of a probe into accusations that she accepted bribes in her previous role as defense minister.

The search and seizure operation at the Johannesburg home of Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, who is a veteran lawmaker with the ruling African National Congress party, was confirmed in a statement from Parliament.

The Speaker denied any wrongdoing and “reaffirms she has nothing to hide,” the statement said. She cooperated with the investigators, who searched her home for more than five hours, Parliament said.

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The investigation of Mapisa-Nqakula was made public this month by a newspaper, which said she was suspected of receiving at least $120,000 in bribes from a defense contractor between 2016 and 2019.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa gestures while standing next to Speaker of the National Assembly of South Africa Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, left, ahead of his state of the nation address on Feb. 8, 2024, at the City Hall in Cape Town. A special investigations unit searched the home of Mapisa-Nqakula on Tuesday and seized evidence as part of a probe into accusations that she accepted bribes in her previous role as defense minister. (Rodger Bosch/pool photo via AP)

The money was delivered to her in cash in gift bags, according to The Sunday Times newspaper.

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A spokesman for the National Prosecuting Authority said the operation was carried out by its investigating directorate.

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