Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema’s wife, Mantoa, has accepted President Cyril Ramaphosa’s apology after ANC MP Boy Mamabolo falsely accused the EFF leader of abusing his wife.
Mantoa said though she accepted the president’s apology, parliament should never be used to humiliate women.
“It should never be a platform where women are a weapon in an attempt to neutralise political opponents in a general masculine, toxic exchange. As I’m sure you would agree, this is an insult to all women, especially those who are victims of this scourge.”
Mantoa further denied being abused by her husband, and said she would never let any man abuse her, as her duty was to teach her three sons that abuse should never be tolerated.
She said: “As a woman, I have no option, none whatsoever, but to be personally committed to the fight against abuse of women. All women are – because our society gives us no other option. As a result, I will never let any man abuse me, neither will I ever look away when other women are abused.
“I have a duty to be faithful to the history of my body, which is mobilised all the time, to settle masculine competitions between men. Thus, the assault on me, under your watch in parliament was, in essence, an assault on your daughter, your wife, your mother and all the women in the country.
“Personally I’m nurturing three boys of my womb, and they will grow up to become gentlemen. I cannot make them gentle and responsible men by concealing violence in my own home and private space, doing so will be teaching them that violence can be tolerated.
“In order to be men that respect women and regard women as their equals, I have a duty to resist violence against my physical, mental and emotional being, both in the public and private sphere. It is on these grounds that I resisted abuse, even when it came from such a powerful space and party as the one you lead.”
Mamabolo stirred up trouble in parliament during Ramaphosa’s state of the nation (Sona) address in parliament after accusing Malema of abusing 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 Mantoa was allegedly being abused.
During the Sona debate on Tuesday, Mamabolo again repeated the allegations.
Mamabolo said he raised the question to Malema because of Ramaphosa’s call on MPs to expose gender-based violence.
He said he started getting messages from “jealous” friends called ‘Friends of Mantoa’ telling him about the alleged abuse since November last year.
“I was therefore actually wrong to raise the matter in public without consulting with you as my former family friends to verify these false allegations from jealous friends of Mantoa.
“I would like to take this opportunity to apologise and retract the insensitive statements that I have made in parliament and outside regarding gender-based violence, which was allegedly happening in your household.
“I humbly request you to accept my sincere apology, I wish you a Happy Malema Family (as I’ve always did) jealous must never break you, Stay strong my Comrades (sic).”
On Thursday, Malema denied ever abusing his wife or any other woman, and vowed 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 as an MP and president of the EFF. This I will do before the matter can serve in a competent court of law.”