This is the statement that was released by the DA Shadow Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Kobus Marais MP, at the Cape Town Central Police Station this morning. Please see corrected version.
The DA today laid charges against the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula for illegally bringing Ms Wege into South Africa as was revealed last month. Specifically for clearly committing an offence under section 49(2) of the Immigration Act. The surrounding circumstances of this offence also show that she may have broken a host of other laws and we have asked for these to be investigated alongside the charge.
While the Minister may claim to have good intentions; it simply cannot be condoned that she broke the law, which as Minister of Defence and a previous MP at the time the law was passed she could not reasonably have not had full knowledge of. The Minister had other more diplomatic options available to her and in choosing to break the law over using these other remedies, she also broke her oath to uphold the Rule of Law and the Constitution she serves.
In this endeavour the Minister wilfully thwarted national legislation by specifically flouting section 49(2) of the Immigration Act which expressly stipulates that “anyone who knowingly assists a person to enter or remain in, or depart from the Republic in contravention of this Act, shall be guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to a fine or to imprisonment not exceeding five years”.
Accordingly, and on the basis of the admissions made in the Minister’s Statement alone, the DA submits that, at the very least:
- Minister Mapisa-Nqakula committed the crime of assisting a person unlawfully to enter the Republic under section 49(2) of the Act;
- Ms Wege committed the offence of unlawfully entering the Republic under section 49(1)(a) of the Act; and
- Against the above background, I also suspect that other offences may have been committed by Minister Nqakula and/or Ms Wege and/or other individuals.
This is in addition to the request for the Public Protector to investigate the violations of the Members Executive Ethics Act.
The ANC and its Ministers in government have for too long misused their political power for their own benefit. The absolute disregard with which ANC Ministers treat the law, as well as their Oath of Office is a slap in the face of our democratic dispensation.
Minister Mapisa-Nqakula must be held to account, and the DA will fight tirelessly for the integrity of the Constitution, and ensure that no one is regarded as above the law.