EFF leader Julius Malema accussed President Cyril Ramaphosa of Gender Based Violence during the SONA debate. Malema had been accused of abusing his wife by ANC MP Jacob Boy  Mamabolo. Pictures: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency(ANA)
EFF leader Julius Malema accussed President Cyril Ramaphosa of Gender Based Violence during the SONA debate. Malema had been accused of abusing his wife by ANC MP Jacob Boy Mamabolo. Pictures: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency(ANA)

EDITORIAL: With Parliament playing out like a vile social media twar, Ramaphosa provides leadership

By EDITORIAL Time of article published Feb 22, 2020

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South Africa teeters perilously close to the abyss. We have been moving at breakneck speed to the bottom over the past week.

Parliament was degraded into a real-life version of some of the worst excesses of social media, rather than the apex forum to guide and govern the rest of us.

The nadir occurred earlier this week as male MPs started laying into one another, accusing each other of spousal abuse.

It doesn’t matter who did it first or who did it next.

What does matter is that it took the president of our country, Cyril Ramaphosa, a man fast becoming an object of derision for his perceived lack of moral courage, to grasp the nettle and apologise to Julius Malema, the leader of the EFF, for the slur aimed at him and his wife.

It wasn’t just a political masterstroke that set off a chain reaction of apologies from either side of the House; it was an act of honest and humble leadership that has been lacking for far too long.

The bilge pumps of the state have been unable to pump quickly enough to drain the rising sewage of the fight-back campaign which threatens to turn us all against one another so that the guilty can slip through the cracks.

South Africa is being rent asunder; apartheid laid the foundations while state capture has added the finishing touches.

This week, Ramaphosa stepped in when the country needed him most, ironically, when many had started to give up.

In one magnanimous, though heartfelt gesture, he pulled Parliament right and reset the hands on the doomsday clock that looms above us all - just in time for the mob to set alight houses in Parow on Friday and Jacob Zuma’s much hyped about heroic return to OR Tambo International from Cuba.

The long walk to freedom continues.

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