South Africa

Cyril Ramaphosa’s big headache

South Africa’s speaker of parliament is taking “special leave” after her house was raided this week as part of a corruption investigation.

Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula said in a statement on Thursday that the decision is her own and that she took the step to protect the legislature’s integrity. 

The Democratic Alliance, the main opposition party, called on the speaker to vacate her post after the five-hour search of her residence in the east of Johannesburg by investigators working on behalf of the National Prosecuting Authority.

Earlier this month, the Sunday Times, which is based in the city, reported that Mapisa-Nqakula solicited R2.3 million in bribes from a contractor while she was defence minister, citing the contractor. She has denied wrongdoing.

The raid presents a headache for President Cyril Ramaphosa just over two months before national elections with the ruling African National Congress dogged by graft allegations. 


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