Politics

Malema apologises to Ramaphosa and his family over abuse allegations

Malema apologises to Ramaphosa and his family over abuse allegations
Cape Town - EFF leader Julius Malema has apologised to President Cyril Ramaphosa for making allegations that he abused his late wife Nomazizi Mtshotshisa.
This comes after the president extended an olive branch to the leader of the red berets and apologised to him and his family, following allegations by ANC MP Boy Mamabolo that he had assaulted his wife. Malema denied the allegations during the debate of the president's State of the Nation Address, but alleged Ramaphosa had abused his late wife. 
"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 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," he said in a statement. 
"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 affected in the process particularly victims of gender-based violence," he said.
He was reacting to Ramaphosa, who in his reply on SONA on Thursday  asked that engagements on the struggle against women be done with respect for one another and also have respect for the country's women.

Ramaphosa had noted that the leader of red berets had in 2017 raised a similar allegation that he assaulted his first wife Hope Ramaphosa, who he said had denied the claims.

Ramaphosa said that after Mamabolo's statements about his wife, Malema had at the joint sitting of Parliament on Tuesday stood up and made a fresh allegation about Nomazizi, who could not speak for herself.

"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," he said.

"My heart goes out to Mantwa and your family honourable member. I hope MPs must not politicise this issue of gender-based violence," the president said.

Following the president's SONA reply on Thursday, Malema tried to address the joint sitting but was asked to take his seat amid points of orders from ANC MPs.

In his statement Malema said at the time he had sought to return the same hand to Ramaphosa, his late wife and his family.

"I was however drowned by ruling party benches without any protection from presiding officers.

"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," said Malema, adding he had already personally communicated his apology to Ramaphosa via a phone call.

"I would like to reiterate that I have never laid a hand on wife or any woman in my life.

"If there should be evidence to dispute my claim, even as minute as a molecule, I will be prepared to resign an MP and president of the EFF.

"This I will do before the matter can serve in a competent court of law," Malema said.

Political Bureau