South Africa

Parliament speaker faces arrest over corruption charges

South African Speaker of Parliament Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula lost a court bid to prevent the authorities from detaining her over allegations of corruption and now faces arrest.

On Tuesday, Judge Sulet Potterill handed down the ruling in the High Court in Pretoria, the capital.

Mapisa-Nqakula, who faces possible graft charges related to her tenure as defence minister, had launched an urgent application for the court to compel the National Prosecuting Authority to suspend plans to arrest her and share with her evidence related to the case.

The controversy surrounding Mapisa-Nqakula, a senior ANC leader, comes two months before South Africa holds national elections in which the party is at risk of losing its national majority for the first time since it came to power three decades ago.

Opinion polls show voters are dissatisfied with the ANC over issues, including its failure to deal decisively with state corruption and arrest officials accused of graft.

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