Former South Africa speaker of parliament arrested on bribery allegations

The former South African speaker of parliament has been arrested over allegations that she received about 135,000 US dollars (£106,600) in bribes, in the latest corruption scandal to face the governing African National Congress party.

Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula turned herself in to police in the capital Pretoria on Thursday and was taken to Pretoria Magistrates’ Court, where she was released on 50,000 rand (£2,114) in bail.

Mapisa-Nqakula maintained her innocence and suggested the charges against her were politically motivated with the country set to hold national elections later this year.

South Africa’s former parliament speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula arrives at the magistrates' court in Pretoria, South Africa
Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula arrives at the magistrates’ court in Pretoria, South Africa (Themba Hadebe/AP)

Her Johannesburg home was raided by law enforcement officials, and she was informed that the state intended to charge her with 12 counts of corruption and money laundering.

Mapisa-Nqakula resigned as the speaker of parliament and as a legislator days after failing in a court bid to block her arrest.

She told the court on Thursday that she was not a flight risk and would have a lot to lose by evading her trial, including her state pension and access to her Johannesburg-based children.

Prosecutors did not oppose Mapisa-Nqakula’s application for bail.

Her case has been postponed to June 4, with prosecutors saying they plan to add another defendant.

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