The Citizen (KZN)

Speaker ‘can be arrested’

- Brian Sokutu

Facing 12 counts of corruption involving more than R4 million and one count of money-laundering, embattled National Assembly Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula was not immune from being arrested, the National Prosecutin­g Authority’s Investigat­ing Directorat­e (ID) said yesterday.

In a damning 63-page answering affidavit, arguing for Mapisa-Nqakula’s urgent applicatio­n to be struck off the roll in the High Court in Pretoria, ID deputy director of public prosecutio­ns advocate Bheki Manyathi said every member of society was equal before the law.

Mapisa-Nqakula is urgently seeking to stop her “imminent arrest”.

However, Manyathi said: “An arrest is one of the legally sanctioned means of securing the attendance of a suspect in court. It is not unlawful, if it is done within bounds of reason.

“At the moment there is no arrest.

“Instead, there has been a courtesy extended to the applicant to present herself to the law enforcemen­t agents to charge her and process her appearance in court.

“The fact that the applicant regards her so called ‘imminent arrest’ as creating urgency, does not necessaril­y make the matter urgent.

“I can certainly confirm that there was an agreement that the applicant would be presented by her legal representa­tives at Lyttleton police station for processing.”

Manyathi said Mapisa-Nqakula did not enjoy a right “not to be arrested”.

“The case against the applicant is strong. On the basis of informatio­n available to the state, the threshold in terms of the provisions of Section 40 of the Criminal Procedure Act, has been met.

“Should the decision to arrest be made, the arrest will be lawful.”

He later added: “The applicant does not have a right to access the docket at this stage.”

Mapisa-Nqakula’s advocate, Reg Willis, said she had chosen not to file a replying affidavit.

Willis said Mapisa-Nqakula was seeking an interim interdict to prevent the state from arresting her pending the outcome of her first interdict applicatio­n seeking an order blocking her arrest and granting her access to the evidence against her.

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