Former Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane has advised President Cyril Ramaphosa to rein in on some of his party’s MPs.
In a tweet on Wednesday morning, Maimane said African National Congress (ANC) MPs “chose a Mabena strategy” during the State of the Nation Address (SONA) debate in Parliament on Tuesday.
“Mabena” has emerged as a derisive reference to someone who performs a duty in a wrong or comical way.
‘Mamabolo is costing you’
Maimane wrote, “Eita @CyrilRamaphosa your parliamentary benches chose a Mabena strategy izolo [yesterday].
“You need to put Boy Mamabolo on the bench. He is costing you and taking attention away from the substantive issues. Gutter politics is not your brand.”
He was referring to ANC MP Boy Mamabolo’s decision on Tuesday to confront Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema with claims that he was abusing his wife Mantoa Matlala-Malema.
Malema vehemently denied the claims, but turned the heat on the ANC with claims that Ramaphosa had abused his late ex-wife Nomazizi Mtshotshisa.
‘Not what the nation expects’
What followed was a prolonged chaotic period that only ended when Malema was asked to leave the House after he refused to withdraw his claim.
Maimane, who now leads the Movement for One South Africa, also expressed his disapproval of the scenes in Parliament.
He wrote, “I am disappointed with what I am seeing today in Parliament. This is not what the nation expects from its leaders.
“The behaviour today was totally unacceptable. Instead of debate we are witnessing childish behaviour, insults and profanity.”
Commentators and fellow MPs have criticised both Mamabolo and Malema for using issues of gender-based violence to score political points.
It remains to be seen how Ramaphosa will react to Malema’s claims when he replies to the SONA debate on Thursday.