South African Speaker of the National Assembly of South Africa...

South African Speaker of the National Assembly of South Africa Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, stands ahead of South African President Cyril Ramaphosa's state of the nation address, at the City Hall in Cape Town on Feb. 8, 2024. Mapisa-Nqakula faces imminent arrest over corruption charges after her bid to block police and prosecutors from arresting her was dismissed by the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on Tuesday, April 2, 2024. Mapisa-Nqakula, who is a senior member of the country’s ruling African National Congress party, is accused of receiving bribes from a defence contractor while she was still a minister of defence. Credit: AP/Rodger Bosch

PRETORIA, South Africa — South Africa's parliamentary speaker faces imminent arrest over corruption charges after a court on Tuesday dismissed her bid to block police and prosecutors from arresting her.

Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, who is a senior member of the ruling African National Congress party, is accused of receiving bribes from a defense contractor while she was defense minister.

According to prosecutors, she received 11 payments totaling $135,000 between December 2016 and July 2019. She sought another bribe of $105,000 but that wasn’t paid, prosecutors said.

Opposition lawmakers have called for her to step down from her position as speaker over the allegations.

Mapisa-Nqakula last week launched an urgent court bid to block her arrest, but a judge at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria dismissed her application on Tuesday.

Speaking to reporters after the judgment was delivered, National Prosecuting Authority spokesman Mthunzi Mhaga did not say when the arrest would be made but confirmed the judgement paved the way for it to occur.

“Obviously the wheels of justice will now be in motion, as we were listening to the judgment, which was well reasoned,” Mhaga said.

National Prosecuting Authorities' representative Adv.Mthunzi Mhaga addresses the press in...

National Prosecuting Authorities' representative Adv.Mthunzi Mhaga addresses the press in the High Court, in Pretoria, South Africa, Tuesday, April 2, 2024. South Africa's speaker of parliament Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula faces imminent arrest over corruption charges after her bid to block police and prosecutors from arresting her was dismissed by the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria Tuesday. Credit: AP/Denis Farrell

“We have always maintained that this is unprecedented and it was unnecessary for us to be brought to court. We have always maintained that the process of arrest will be done seamlessly,” he added.

Before launching her court bid, Mapisa-Nqakula was told by prosecutors she should turn herself in to authorities for processing and to appear before a judge.

Mapisa-Nqakula is the latest African National Congress leader to face corruption allegations as the party prepares to fight tough national elections this year.

Recent polls suggest the party could receive less than 50% of electoral support for the first since time it came into power in 1994.

Rally for food at NCC … Imagine Dragons at Jones Beach … Mascot ban update Credit: Newsday

Testing barrels found in Bethpage ... Opening statements in Trump trial ... Jets trade Zach Wilson ... Tulip festival

Rally for food at NCC … Imagine Dragons at Jones Beach … Mascot ban update Credit: Newsday

Testing barrels found in Bethpage ... Opening statements in Trump trial ... Jets trade Zach Wilson ... Tulip festival

Latest videos

Newsday LogoSUBSCRIBEUnlimited Digital AccessOnly 25¢for 5 months
ACT NOWSALE ENDS SOON | CANCEL ANYTIME