Parliament, Thursday, 21 March 2024 - In light of recent media speculations and allegations of my imminent arrest, I feel compelled to make the following statement:

As the Speaker of the 6th Parliament of the Republic of South Africa, I hold the utmost respect for our legislative system and the laws of our nation, some of which I have been privileged to pass. I assure the nation of my willingness to cooperate fully with law enforcement agencies on any matter that may arise.

I wish to place it on record, that while the Investigative Directorate of the National Prosecution Authority conducted a search and seizure at my residence, there has been no formal notification of an arrest warrant or communication regarding an imminent arrest for me, neither to me nor my legal team. My lawyers have, however, proactively informed the National Prosecution Authority of my readiness to comply and cooperate should the need arise.

Given the seriousness of the allegations and the attendant extensive media speculation, I have decided to take special leave from my position as Speaker of the National Assembly, effective immediately. This decision has been communicated to the Secretary of Parliament and to the President of the Republic in his capacity as Head of State.

This decision by myself is meant to protect the integrity of Parliament and ensure its sacred duty and its name continue unblemished.

Consequently therefore, I will also not be attending the long planned 148th Session of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Assembly taking place in Geneva, Switzerland.

I have also communicated my decision to take special leave to my Movement the African National Congress.

I hope this statement clarifies my position, reaffirms my commitment to upholding the integrity of my office, and demonstrates my full cooperation with the legal process.