MPs slammed for using gender-based violence as a political football
Members of Parliament have been slammed, largely by women on social media, for using gender-based violence as a political football.
This came on Tuesday as ANC MP Boy Mamabolo, squared up with his long-time political rival, EFF leader Julius Malema.
Mamabolo had risen on a point of order as Malema delivered the EFF’s response to President Cyril Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation Address. Mamabolo asked Malema if he had abused his wife, to which the EFF leader belatedly responded he had not.
But soon after denying the abuse claims against him, Malema fired back, and accused Ramaphosa of abusing his ex-wife, Nomazizi Mtshotshisa.
Ramaphosa was married to the late Mtshotshisa between 1991 and 1993.
Ramaphosa cut a forlorn figure when Mamabolo posed the question to Malema.
Malema told the House Mtshotshisa had confided in former president Jacob Zuma, and he asserted Zuma would be able to verify the claims.
But on social media, women - among them prominent journalists, politicians and gender activists - hit back at the politicians and slammed them for using the issue of gender-based violence as a political football.
This came as Malema tweeted a screenshot allegedly depicting ANC chief whip Pemmy Majodima cheering on the ANC MPs who took the fight to Malema during the SONA debate.
“Malema must feel the heat and drink his medicine,” read one message purported to be from Majodima. Five minutes later, supposedly after Malema had been kicked out of Parliament, she purportedly wrote: “Well done Cdes”.
[Must See] ANC whippery, both Pemmy Majodina and Doris Dlakude in an @MYANC WhatsApp group encouraged their rascals to use GBV false allegations for political point scoring. When we respond truthfully, they want to cry foul! pic.twitter.com/kc8Ob5OcYT— Julius Sello Malema (@Julius_S_Malema) February 18, 2020
Using GBV as political football. Imagine if you’re the spouse/family of either Malema or Ramaphosa? If true, has their permission been sought to parade their names to get political opponents? If not, that is low. Disgusting. #Sonadebate— Phumzile Van Damme (@zilevandamme) February 18, 2020
The weaknesses in our MPs in raising the quality of debates and setting of bar high right from Chief Whip dowards requires interventions. I don’t think Cde Boy Mamabolo is assisting in his obsessive personal vitriol to Julius. It is diversionary. Its too degenerate #SONAdebate— khaye Nkwanyana (@khayeLK) February 18, 2020
Today we witness multiple victimisations of women who endured GBV @ParliamentofRSA. The debate is not about alleged abuse of women and taking a stand against GBV. It is about appropriating & weaponsing women’s experiences of violence for scoring political points. Toxic & abusive.— Nomboniso Gasa (@nombonisogasa) February 18, 2020
Most of us - women/womxn who live with GBV, survivors of rape & abuse - hold our broken selves with metophoric tape. We struggle to hold it together with some pain & dignity. When politicians abuse our experiences, it’s truly undermining & painful. #Triggered @ParliamentofRSA— Nomboniso Gasa (@nombonisogasa) February 18, 2020
In the world of the comrade, GBV will always be used to settle political scores. Survivors confide in comrades today only to read about their experiences in the papers when conference time comes. Seek another avenue for comfort and solidarity.— Phindile Kunene (@kunenephindz) February 18, 2020
GBV is a physical manifestation of the belief that women are objects upon which men can visit their rage and sexual violence.— Karyn Maughan (@karynmaughan) February 18, 2020
So using alleged GBV victims to score political points isn’t a shocking aberration
It’s the natural consequence of seeing women as props,
not people https://t.co/BMmVlw3kmX
The only time men are passionate about GBV is when they can use it to undermine another man's power and/or legitimacy.— Redemption's Song (@Amore_Oya) February 18, 2020
Zinja zka satan
The ANC played a dangerous game with the GBV question on Julius, now it's backfiring— The Villager (@Penxenxe) February 18, 2020
Can these men stop weaponizing— Siviwe Gwarube (@Siviwe_G) February 18, 2020
Gender-Based Violence against each other in this elaborate and disgusting pissing contest!? What’s happening in this #SONAdebate is an insult to the millions of women who are victims of GBV at the hands of people who sit in and outside this House.
You know why we cant win the war against GBV? Our politicians still see sexual violence as a political tool, that's why— Matshidiso Madia (@tshidi_lee) February 18, 2020
It's clear that ANC MP's don't really care about GBV they just wanted to use it against Malema. He answered their question he doesn't abuse his wife, mentioned he has taken the matter to his lawyers but when he brings up Ramaphosa for abusing his ex wife he is wrong?#SONAdebate— AK (@Akhona_PQ) February 18, 2020