Boy Mamabolo in hot water with ANC for setting off GBV row in Parliament
Cape Town - ANC MP Boy Mamabolo has been left facing the heat from his party for sparking the verbal gender-based violence attacks that caused chaos in Parliament on Tuesday.
The ANC has released a statement calling on its caucus to launch an investigation into the matter. Spokesperson Pule Mabe said they would not allow the use of such a sensitive issue to score cheap political points.
This comes as MPs continued to fight over the matter on Wednesday, following Julius Malema’s decision to sue Mamabolo for alleging the EFF leader was abusing his wife.
Malema and his wife, through their lawyers, launched a lawsuit against Mamabolo for his remarks.
But Mamabolo was unfazed, saying he would defend himself in court. He said he never spoke to anyone outside of Parliament on the matter.
“I never spoke to anyone outside. I am going to prove my facts in court.”
He said he was ready for the legal action from Malema and his wife, who are suing him for R1million each.
Mabe said Parliament must enforce rules for members to conduct themselves properly. “The trivialisation of gender-based violence in the House undermines the honour bestowed on the National Assembly.
“These type of scenes witnessed in Parliament can only serve to push back efforts by the ANC-led government to mainstream the fight against gender-based violence,” Mabe said.
He said they want their public representatives to refrain from using gender-based violence for publicity stunts.
“The ANC caucus should also consider conducting an investigation to establish whether the unfortunate utterances, specifically on GBV do not constitute transgressions, and where necessary submit to the relevant committees for appropriate action,” said Mabe.
The National Council of Provinces deputy chairperson Sylvia Lucas also warned that gender-based violence cannot be used for political gain. “What happened this week cannot be repeated.
“Yesterday (On Wednesday), we saw the issue of gender-based violence being used for point-scoring. We need to apologise to everyone, particularly the survivors of gender-based violence. This is a call to all of us,” said Lucas.
The government has been fighting gender-based violence, and politicians must refrain from this behaviour, she said.
Police Minister Bheki Cele said this was a relentless fight, as all the country’s leaders were waging a war against the abuse of women and children.
He said the police would be training 312 officers to combat gender-based violence.
In a letter from their lawyers, Ian Levitt Attorneys, Malema and his wife described the allegations of abuse by Mamabolo as defamatory.
“Your defamatory statements referred to herein above gravely disappoint our client. 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 society, most especially a person who is a member of Parliament.
“Our client is disgusted by gender-based violence and the rate at which more and more women are abused.
“Should the accusations levelled against our client and her husband have any merit whatsoever, our client would have attended to the nearest police station to report same. Our client does not require you to be her voice,” wrote the lawyers.
“As you might or might not be aware, our client has small children, the oldest being 13. Your false accusations have now cast a dark cloud over the entire family,” the lawyers said.
“These children now need to attend school, and be mocked and ridiculed due to the false accusations levelled against their parents. Your false accusations have caused grave harm and damage to the family,” they said.
But ANC deputy chief whip Doris Dlakude has denied that they instigated any of their MPs to use gender-based violence to attack Malema. She said they had proof on their cellphones that this was not the case, as Malema had alleged.
The EFF leader said ANC chief whip Pemmy Majodina and Dlakude had instigated their members that he (Malema) was abusing his wife. During the State of the Nation address debate, DA MP Angel Khanyile accused Dlakude of instigating the use of gender-based violence.
But Dlakude told her she must bring a substantive motion to back up her claim. “We never asked anyone to attack anyone on gender-based violence,” said Dlakude.