The EFF has once again overshadowed the joint sitting in Parliament, this time with allegations that President Cyril Ramaphosa beat his late former wife.
Chaos erupted in the National Assembly on Tuesday afternoon on the first day of the sitting to debate Ramaphosa’s state of the nation address (Sona).
EFF leader Julius Malema was interrupted during his contribution to the debate by ANC MP Boy Mamabolo who repeated an allegation which he made during last week’s Sona that Malema physically abuses his wife.
Mamabolo pointedly asked Malema on Tuesday to respond to the allegation.
Malema said he had never hit any woman, including his wife, and that his lawyers had written to Mamabolo demanding that he withdraw and apologise, failing which Malema would seek R1 million in punitive costs against him.
Malema then turned the tables on Ramaphosa, saying that he too had an allegation to answer to.
“Can the president answer the question, did he beat his late wife? That is the question he must answer because I have been asked the same question in this House about my wife,” he said.
“The president has got a history of beating up his late wife and I am following it up in the same steps. You came here to start personal battles without thinking of the implications. If you want to fight like that, that is how we fight,” Malema added.
“President Zuma can confirm that Nomazizi, the ex-wife of the president, used to complain to President Zuma about being abused. Bring it on, I am not scared of all of you. You don’t want the truth, your president abused his ex-wife,” he added before being asked to leave the House.
“I can leave the House, the facts remain. Nomazizi must rest in peace, she was abused by your president,” he said before leaving the House followed by all EFF MPs.
DA chief whip Natasha Mazzone then emerged as the voice of reason slamming the interaction between EFF and ANC MPs which became a chaotic shouting match for a few minutes.
“I rise not to waste the time of the House but to register the extreme disappointment of the Democratic Alliance and disgust at what has just taken place. I actually feel physically ill that I sit in a House of Parliament with honourable members who certainly do not earn the title of honourable members,” she said.
“Women in this country suffer from post-traumatic stress and from stress disorders because we are under siege, we are at war with one another. When this kind of thing is made light of to make political scoring a big deal in this House, it is appalling.
“And if anyone in this country thinks what just happened in this House is acceptable, they certainly need their heads read. We as Parliament need to stand together and say enough is enough, this House is an honourable House. The decorum must be restored,” Mazzone said.
Ramaphosa’s address last week was delayed by almost two hours as the EFF raised a series of points of order objecting to the presence of former apartheid president FW de Klerk who became deputy president in the first democratic government in 1994.
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The party also objected to Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan remaining in Ramaphosa’s cabinet despite ongoing challenges at SOEs.