Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema has apologised to President Cyril Ramaphosa for alleging that he used to abuse his late wife.
ANC MP Boy Mamabolo stirred up trouble in parliament during Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation (Sona) address in parliament after accusing Malema of abusing his wife Mantoa.
As the EFF was demanding that FW De Klerk leave parliament before Ramaphosa’s address, Mamabolo stood up on a point of order and said the House was being abused, in the same manner that Malema’s wife was allegedly being abused.
At the time, the EFF leader ignored the accusations.
During the Sona debate on Tuesday, Mamabolo again repeated the allegations, and in response, Malema accused the president of abusing his late wife.
Malema and his wife Mantoa have since demanded R1 million each from Mamabolo should he not apologise and retract his allegations. Mamabolo has insisted that he has proof of his allegations, refusing to apologise to the couple.
Responding to the Sona today, Ramaphosa apologised to Malema and his family for Mamabolo’s accusations.
He said: “We owe the people of South Africa an apology for what happened in this debate. Let us agree that we should never again allow such an important issue to be used in this way, and reaffirm our shared and unwavering commitment to use all means at our disposal to end.
“I felt for your wife. It was uncalled for. It was improper. It was not correct for it to be raised and if I can offer an apology about this I would like to.
“My heart goes out to Mantoa and your family, honourable member Malema. I hope MPs must not politicise this issue of gender based violence.”
Now the EFF leader has responded to Ramaphosa with an apology.
He said: “After a long discussion with my wife about the president’s apology, I have decided to pen down the apology that I should have communicated on the platform of the joint sitting of Parliament where it belonged
“I stood in Parliament to return the same hand to him, his departed wife, Nomazizi, and his entire family. I was, however, drowned out by ruling party benches without any protection from presiding officers
“In retrospect, I accept that I should have known better not to indulge myself in the same degeneration that the ANC caucus visited upon my person and that of my wife. It was therefore in a desperate act of personal defence which I now regret because of how critical the matter of gender-based violence is for all of us as a country.
“I hope the president can accept my apology, together with his family, which I offer sincerely.
“I also would like to apologise to all South Africans who were offended in the process, in particular victims of gender-based violence.”
Malema further reiterated that he had never laid a hand on his wife or any other woman, vowing to resign as an MP and president of the EFF should anyone provide evidence proving otherwise.
“I would like to reiterate that I have never laid a hand on my wife or any other woman in my life.
“If there should be evidence produced to dispute my claim, even as minute as a molecule, I will be prepared to resign an an MP and president of the EFF. This I will do before the matter can serve in a competent court of law.”