EFF leader Julius Malema at parliament. Picture ESA ALEXANDER
EFF leader Julius Malema at parliament. Picture ESA ALEXANDER

EFF leader Julius Malema has apologised to President Cyril Ramaphosa for saying in parliament that he had abused his late wife.

In a statement released on Thursday evening Malema said he had wanted to offer the apology in parliament but he was “drowned out” and had his mic switched off before he could relay the message to Ramaphosa.

Earlier in parliament, Ramaphosa offered Malema and his wife an apology over abuse allegations which were levelled against him by ANC MP Boy Mamabolo.

“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,” Malema said.

“After a long discussion with my wife about the president’s apology, I have decided to pen down the apology that I should have communicated on the platform of the joint sitting of parliament where it belonged.”

Malema said he had already called Ramaphosa to offer his apology.

He said that he was provoked by Mamabolo’s repeated accusations but admitted that it was wrong for him to respond by also levelling accusations at Ramaphosa.

Malema said he had never laid a hand to his wife and that if anyone could present a shred of evidence to the contrary, he would immediately resign from parliament.

“If there should be evidence produced to dispute my claim, even as minute as a molecule, I will be prepared to resign as an MP and president of the EFF. This I will do before the matter can serve in a competent court of law,” Malema said.

He said that the use of a serious issue such as gender-based violence, which the country is grappling with as “countless” women are killed by men daily, was wrong and that he should have known better to not use it as a political tool.

“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.

“I hope the president can accept my apology, together with his family, which I offer sincerely,” Malema said.

He also apologised to all South Africans who were offended by the engagement between him and Mamabolo.

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