Mbete apologises for calling Malema a cockroach

2015-02-18 17:15

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

The Economic Freedom Fighters has welcomed an apology to its leader Julius Malema by National Assembly Speaker and ANC chairperson Baleka Mbete.

“The EFF welcomes this apology as a step forward and hopes indeed that the unfortunate events of the 12 February 2015 will be reviewed with the same sincerity expressed in the Speaker’s apology,” the organisation said in a statement.

Mbete apologised today for describing EFF leader Julius Malema as a cockroach.

“I apologise unconditionally, to South Africans, to Parliament and Honourable Julius Malema for any hurt or harm I may have caused,” she said in a statement today.

National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete’s apology

“If we don’t work we will continue to have cockroaches like Malema roaming all over the place,” the Mail&Guardian online quoted her as saying at an ANC North West congress on the weekend.

Mbete said she had been thinking long and hard about her words.

“I have concluded that my remarks, all offending statements I made, were inappropriate. The manner in which they came across was unfortunate and regrettable.”

She withdrew the remarks unreservedly.

The ANC also welcomed her apology. “The African National Congress welcomes the decision by the national chairperson of the ANC, comrade Baleka Mbete, to withdraw her remarks of calling Julius Malema a ‘cockroach’,” spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said.

“Her withdrawal is an indication that she has accepted public concerns for her remark.”

Earlier, the SA Human Rights Commission said it had received a complaint from a member of the public over Mbete’s remarks. The complaint was one of hate speech and incitement to violence, spokesman Isaac Mangena said.

During yesterday’s debate on President Jacob Zuma’s state of the nation address, Economic Freedom Fighters MP Mbuyiseni Ndlozi, supported by Chief Whip Floyd Shivambu, said Mbete should withdraw the remark.

Malema asked National Council of Provinces chairwoman Thandi Modise to rule on the matter ahead of the debate.

“The Speaker said somewhere that members are cockroaches ... and we want that clarified before we proceed,” he said.

Modise said she could not make a ruling and could not apologise on Mbete’s behalf.

“What I can do is convey the sentiment and the message of this to the Speaker.”

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.