African National Congress (ANC) MP Boy Mamabolo has apologised to Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema and his wife Mantoa Matlala-Malema for claiming Malema was abusing Matlala-Malema.
In a public statement he issued late on Thursday, Mamabolo suggested that he had been misled by a group calling itself “Friends of Mantoa.”
He wrote, “My question to Mr Malema in terms of rule 14L (a) of the Joint Sitting was influenced by the SMSs and WhatsApp messages that I received from the so-called ‘Mantoa’s friends.'”
‘Friends of Mantoa’
Mamabolo added, “I posed the question to Mr Malema because the President, during the Special Joint Sitting last year, called upon us to expose any form of gender-based violence in our country, and some jealous friends called ‘Friends of Mantoa’ started sending me messages since November last year.
“I was therefore actually wrong to raise the matter in public without consulting with you as my former family friends to verify these false allegations from jealous Friends of Mantoa.”
He said he had shared his statement with President Cyril Ramaphosa, Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces Amos Masondo and the ANC Whippery in Parliament led by Chief Whip Pemmy Majodina.
He further apologised to his fellow parliamentarians and the country at large. To Malemas, he added, “I humbly request you to accept my sincere apology. I wish you a Happy Malema Family (as I’ve always did [sic]). Jealous [sic] must never break you. Stay strong my comrades.”
R1 million defamation lawsuits
Malema and his wife had not yet responded to Mamabolo’s apology at the time of publishing this article.
On Tuesday, they gave Mamabolo until close of business on Wednesday to retract and apologise for his claims or face separate defamation lawsuits of R1 million each.
However, the ANC MP was initially defiant, insisting that he had evidence to back up his claims and that he was prepared for the lawsuits.
He therefore missed the deadline. It remains to be seen whether the Malemas will proceed with their lawsuits or not.
Mamabolo’s apology came soon after Ramaphosa apologised to Malema for the way ANC MPs had politicised gender-based violence issues against him.
In turn, Malema accepted Ramaphosa’s apology and issued one of his own, admitting that he was wrong “in hindsight” to accuse the President of abusing his late ex-wife Nomazizi Mtshotshisa.