Mantoa Matlala-Malema, the wife of Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema, has asked African National Congress (ANC) MP Boy Mamabolo to publicly retract and apologise for his claim that Malema abuses her.
Matlala-Malema’s law firm, Ian Levitt Attorneys, sent Mamabolo a letter on Wednesday morning saying they have instructions to sue him for R1 million if he didn’t issue the apology by close of business on Wednesday (19 February).
The attorneys asked Mamabolo to publish his retraction and apology on all his social media profiles, including on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and to send it to media houses.
‘Unacceptable to mock GBV victims’
Mamabolo first made the claim during the State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Thursday last week and repeated it during the SONA debate on Tuesday.
While he may not be sued for a claim he made in Parliament, the attorneys said he repeated the claim to the Sowetan newspaper.
They added, “To proceed to mock victims of gender-based violence, especially in the current climate our country is facing, by accusing innocent people of it just to tarnish their image or ‘settle a score’ is unacceptable of a person in our current society, most especially a person who is a member of parliament.
“Our client furthermore regards your false defamatory statements an abuse to her physically and emotionally and thereby extension [sic], an abuse to her children.”
Malema threatened to sue as well
The attorneys continued, “For any avoidance of doubt, we hereby repeat that your allegations are vexatious, misplaced, spurious and untrue.”
Matlala-Malema’s demand for a retraction and apology comes a day after Malema demanded the same from Mamabolo through the same law firm.
The EFF leader similarly issued a deadline of close of business on Wednesday, failure to which he would sue Mamabolo for R1 million.
In a tweet on Tuesday, Mamabolo reacted to Malema’s demand, “Now we’re being sued for raising matters in Parliament.”
On Wednesday, he also tweeted that he would not retract or withdraw his claims. He wrote, “I will NOT retract/withdraw any statement made in Parliament yesterday because there are facts and evidence to all these matters…..bring it on let’s meet in court.
“N.B. We all took an undertaking to expose any form of GBV during Special Joint Sitting last year.”
Both Malema and Mamabolo have come under fire from social commentators and fellow MPs for using issues of gender-based violence to score political points.
This is after Malema made a counter-claim on Tuesday that President Cyril Ramaphosa had abused his late ex-wife Nomazizi Mtshotshisa.