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By Eric Naki

Political Editor

Malema personally apologises to Ramaphosa, hopes matter is now resolved

The EFF leader said he tried to return Ramaphosa's favour in parliament by apologising to him publicly, but was 'drowned down by ruling party benches'.

EFF leader Julius Malema has apologised to President Cyril Ramaphosa for alleging that the he used to abuse his late former wife, Nomazizi Mtshotshisa.

Malema also offered to resign as EFF leader and member of parliament if any evidence ever emerged that he had himself indeed assaulted his spouse.

The EFF leader said had personally communicated his apology directly to President Ramaphosa in a phone call.

“I, therefore, hope that this puts the matter behind both of us,” he said.

Malema released a statement following Ramaphosa’s apology to his wife, Mantwa, over allegations that she was recently beaten up by Malema.

The EFF leader said he tried to return Ramaphosa’s favour in parliament by apologising to him, his departed wife and his entire family.

“I was, however, drowned down by ruling party benches without any protection from presiding officers,” Malema said.

In his apology, Malema did not mention the fact that he was heckled by ANC members after he started by attacking Ramaphosa and ANC MPs for not saying anything when MP Boy Mamabolo made allegations that Malema abused his wife, Mantwa.

Malema and Mantwa have since sued Mamabolo for R1 million each for defamation over the allegation.

Malema said he avoided answering Mamabolo’s question when he asked him if he had ever abused his wife.

“Each time we avoided the question because of its sensitivity, members of the ANC confused this to mean cowardice, or worse, that I had something to hide. Nevertheless, I complied and answered the question with all the truthfulness I could master and under oath.

“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 as an MP and president of the EFF. This I will do before the matter can serve in a competent court of law,” Malema said.

He said it was fair to read the actions of Mamabolo as a collective action by the entire ANC using malicious and harmful GBV allegations to settle a political score, because there was no other reading was possible, as the allegations were repeated more than once, and on more than one sitting.

“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 hope that such a degeneration never occurs again where ANC MPs use personal matters, masquerading in false and malicious accusations to score political points,” Malema said.

“I also would like to apologise to all South Africans who were offended in the process, in particular victims of gender-based violence,” he added.

Ramaphosa’s spokesperson, Khusela Diko had not respond to The Citizen’s query sent via Whatsapp as to whether the president had accepted Malema’s apology or not.

– ericn@citizen.co.za

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