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Malema apologizes to President and South Africa


Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema on Thursday night apologised to President Cyril Ramaphosa and the rest of the country for alleging in the National Assembly that the president physically abused his late ex-wife.

In a statement, Malema said he had called Ramaphosa to convey his regret and hoped that they could put behind them an unseemly exchange in the chamber earlier this week, where Malema made the accusation against the president after he was accused by an African National Congress (ANC) member of Parliament (MP) of abusing his wife Mantoa.

Malema issued the statement a few hours after Ramaphosa had apologised to the EFF leader's family and berated his colleague, Boy Mamabolo, for his slur against the EFF leader in the course of the debate on the state of the nation address.

Ramaphosa dwelled on the issue at length in his reply to the debate and said the row that broke out between the ANC and EFF on Tuesday during the debate was an outrage given the real struggle to stop the scourge of gender-based violence (GBV) in South Africa.

After Ramaphosa had left the podium, Malema rose to speak and appeared on the verge of apologising in return, but was cut short by the chairman of the National Council of Provinces, Amos Masondo.

In his statement, Malema confirmed that he wanted to express regret for offending the president and many others.

"Today, following President Ramaphosa’s apology to my wife and family, I stood in parliament to return the same hand to him, his departed wife, Nomazizi and his entire family. I was, however, drowned down by ruling party benches without any protection from presiding officers."

He said he had repeatedly been taunted by the ANC benches with allegations of spousal abuse and it had caused his wife great anguish, but he should not have lashed out at Ramaphosa in the same manner.

"In retrospect, I accept that I should have known better not to indulge myself in the same degeneration that the ANC caucus visited upon my person and that of my wife. It was therefore in a desperate act of personal defence which I now regret because of how critical the matter of gender-based violence is for all of us as a country."

He reiterated that he had never been violent towards women, and said if there were ever a shred of evidence to the contrary, he would resign and subject himself to court.

- African News Agency (ANA)

-Picture: Twitter

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