The debate of the State of the Nation Address (SONA) in a joint sitting of Parliament descended into chaos when accusations of women abuse were flung around. It led to the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema being asked to leave the House. As is convention, all parties in the House convene to debate the SONA delivered by President Cyril Ramaphosa last week.
However, when Ramaphosa was accused by Malema of having beaten his late wife, order in the House collapsed. The accusation by Malema was brought on by an African National Congress (ANC) Member of Parliament accusing him of the very same thing.
ANC MP, Boy Mamobolo, repeated a question in the House that the leader of the EFF, Julius Malema, is abusing his wife.
“You are abusing your wife and we are asking you in front of the nation, if the matter is true that you are abusing your wife, will you apologise?
— SABC News Online (@SABCNewsOnline) February 18, 2020
Initially, Malema ignored the question and continued with his prepared reply to the SONA, even though his party left the House last week before President Ramaphosa started speaking. This raised the ire of ANC MPs, who demanded that Malema answer.
When Malema answered the question, chaos erupted.
“I have never raised my hand to my wife. I have challenged the President and asked those who have not beaten their wife in the last 25 years to raise your hand because I’ve heard that Ramaphosa had beaten his late wife Nomazizi.”
He was asked by the Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces, Amos Masondo, to withdraw the comment or leave the House.
“Honourable Malema please withdraw the comment or leave the house,” asked Masondo.
Malema left the House, with his caucus following him.
Chaos erupts when EFF leader Julius Malema responds to a question about gender-based violence:
Earlier, Malema also accused the ANC of protecting former President FW de Klerk. He insisted that the EFF’s call that De Klerk should be disinvited from the State of the Nation Address was a necessary one.
“Many of you are scared to confront this question because De Klerk has got your force numbers, you were spies and you are scared that when you take De Klerk head-on, your files of being spies will be released and you will be exposed for who you are, that you are not actually revolutionaries, you are impimpi’s (Zulu for spies) on the payroll of De Klerk and apartheid regime.”
EFF leader Julius Malema calls for FW De Klerk to leave Parliament during last week’s SONA
Responding to a call by the EFF that De Klerk be stripped of his benefits after his remarks that apartheid was not a crime against humanity, the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) said that De Klerk was protected by the presidential handbook, among other entitlements, to receive benefits and privileges as a former head of state.
“ The presidential handbook governs emoluments and all the benefits paid to presidents and former presidents if there is any move or anything on the table that will require those amendments to those emoluments or stripping it…or stripping those emoluments from a particular individual-then as the IFP we will apply our mind at that moment in time.”
The Pan Africanist Congress of Azania came in support of EFF’s call.
“That is what the PAC said on the third of February of 2020 when we were launching the Robert Sobukwe month in Robben Island that De Klerk can’t continue receiving benefits from this government. And we were saying this because this government is ignoring aboSobukwe and others but they keep recognising De Klerk who killed our people. Anyway, De Klerk does not only deserve to be stripped of all the benefits. He deserves to go to jail,” says PAC President Mzwanele Nyhontso .