Police Minister Bheki Cele has been forced to withdraw his remark that DA leader John Steenhuisen had allegedly abused a young woman before he married her and dumped his wife for her.
The woman worked in the DA offices when she met with Steenhuisen.
EFF leader Julius Malema said Cele had nothing to do with Steenhuisen’s marital life. This was echoed later by other DA members during the debate to the State of the Nation Address..
DA MP Solly Malatsi said Cele had overstepped the mark by bringing the marital life of Steenhuisen into Parliament.
Cele had raised the issue during the Sona debate on Tuesday when he called on DA women to speak out against Steenhuisen for abusing the woman before they got married.
Malema interjected and called on National Council of Provinces chairperson Amos Masondo to ask Cele to withdraw the remarks because they were unparliamentary.
When the House concluded the debate, Masondo made a ruling on the matter.
He said before he decided to rule on the issue, Cele had already sent a message that he wished to apologise.
Masondo added that the DA also intended to write a letter to him on the same issue.
“The allegation made by Cele that Steenhuisen abused a young woman is unparliamentary as it implies an allegation of an offensive nature and impairs the dignity and honour of Steenhuisen.
“Honourable members, it must be mentioned that although the statements in relation to non-members are not unparliamentary per se, members must avoid as much as possible during the course of the debate the mention of people outside Parliament who are not in positions to immediately reply or defend themselves,” said Masondo.
He then ordered Cele to stand up and withdraw the remarks.
“I withdraw,” said Cele.