Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema has claimed African National Congress (ANC) whippery in Parliament encouraged the use of false gender-based violence claims against him for political point scoring.
Malema made the claim in a tweet late on Tuesday. He accompanied it with a screenshot of an apparent WhatsApp chat involving ANC Chief Whip Pemmy Majodina, Deputy Chief Whip Doris Dlakude and other ANC MPs.
It’s unclear whether the screenshot is authentic or not. It appears to show Majodina commenting, “Malema must feel the heat and drink his medicine.”
‘He is rattled’
Another MP added, “Yes. He is rattled. Just reading to finish. He is feeling it.” Dlakude also wrote, “Well done [comrades]!”
The chat appears to have taken place soon after ANC MP Boy Mamabolo asked Malema in Parliament on Tuesday whether he was abusing his wife Mantwa Matlala-Malema or not.
Malema initially ignored the question and continued reading his response to President Cyril Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation Address (SONA).
However, he later vehemently denied Mamabolo’s claim and turned the heat on the ANC, accusing Ramaphosa of having abused his late ex-wife Nomazizi Mtshotshisa.
MPs slammed for using GBV
In the aftermath of the chaotic session, several commentators and fellow MPs slammed both Mamabolo and Malema for using issues of gender-based violence for political point scoring.
Nomboniso Gasa, professor of public law at the University of Cape Town, tweeted, “Today we witness multiple victimisations of women who endured GBV @ParliamentofRSA.
“The debate is not about alleged abuse of women and taking a stand against GBV. It is about appropriating and weaponising women’s experiences of violence for scoring political points. Toxic and abusive.”
Democratic Alliance (DA) MP Phumzile Van Damme added, “Using GBV as political football. Imagine if you’re the spouse/family of either Malema or Ramaphosa? If true, has their permission been sought to parade their names to get political opponents? If not, that is low. Disgusting.”
However, EFF MP Dr Mbuyiseni Ndlozi came to Malema’s defence. In response to Van Damme’s tweet, he wrote, “But Phumzile how is it that you never raised this last week during SONA when the ANC MP made allegations against CIC Malema?
“Why is it only political football when EFF responds to it. Not a single person, even on twitter came in defence of EFF leader. Until today when he responds.”