Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema has accepted President Cyril Ramaphosa’s apology while apologising to him and South Africans at the same time.
Earlier on Thursday, Ramaphosa apologised to Malema for the conduct of African National Congress (ANC) MP Boy Mamabolo, who had confronted Malema with claims that he was abusing his wife.
Ramaphosa said, “Honourable Malema, as the allegation was made against you, I felt for Mantoa, your wife, because it was uncalled for, I must say. It was improper, it was not correct for it to be raised, and if I can offer an apology to you about this, I would like to because it was uncalled for and Mantoa responded.”
Apology to all South Africans
In response to Mamabolo’s claim, Malema made a counter-claim on Wednesday that Ramaphosa had abused his late ex-wife Nomazizi Mtshotshisa.
In a statement late on Thursday, Malema said he had also decided to publicly apologise to the President after a “long discussion” with his wife.
He said, “I hope the President can accept my apology, together with his family, which I offer sincerely.
“I also would like to apologise to all South Africans who were offended in the process, in particular victims of gender-based violence.”
‘I should have known better’
Malema repeated his assertion that he has never abused his wife, adding that he was prepared to resign as an MP and EFF leader should there be any evidence proving allegations that he has done so.
He said his decision to make the counter-claim was a “desperate act of personal defence” after Mamabolo and ANC MPs insisted that he had to answer.
“In retrospect, I accept that I should have known better not to indulge myself in the same degeneration that the ANC caucus visited on my person and that of my wife,” Malema said.
Nevertheless, Malema still had accusatory words for Ramaphosa, who he said “did nothing” while Mamabolo made his allegations.
The EFF leader concluded, “I would like to mention that I have personally communicated my apology directly to President Ramaphosa in a phone call. I therefore hope that this puts the matter behind [for] both of us.”
In light of Ramaphosa’s plea in Parliament to both MPs to resolve the matter amicably, it’s unclear at this stage if Malema and his wife will persist with their threat to sue Mamabolo, who insisted in a tweet on Wednesday that he would not retract or apologise.