AS IT HAPPENED | #SONADebate: Ramaphosa apologises to Malema for ANC MP claims he abused his wife

2020-02-20 15:00

President Cyril Ramaphosa has responded to the debate on his State of the Nation Address following two days of pressure from opposition parties vigorously debating his speech in the National Assembly.


(via Parliament TV)

President Cyril Ramaphosa delivers his State of th

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Last Updated at 02:00
20 Feb 15:09

20 Feb 15:04

The speaker concludes the joint sitting and does not allow Malema any further platform to speak.

The session ends.

20 Feb 15:03

We must have respect for one another, but we must also have respect for the women of this country, says Ramaphosa. "My heart goes out to Mantoa, and your family, Honourable Malema."

Ramaphosa again reiterates that "we must not politicise this matter of gender-based violence", and with that, he wraps up his speech.

Malema rises on a point of order as Ramaphosa's speech ends, but Malema is reminded by the speaker that we are at the end of this session.

"I have never assaulted any woman, and I will never do that," says Malema.

20 Feb 14:59

Ramaphosa says that before Malema made the allegations against him, there were allegations made against Malema by an ANC MP. 

Ramaphosa: "Honourable Malema, as the allegation was made against you, I felt for Mantoa, your wife. Because it was uncalled for, I must say. It was improper, it was not correct for it to be raised, and if I can offer an apology to you, about this, I would like to, because it was uncalled for. And Mantoa responded."

Ramaphosa also mentions the issue of his late former wife, Nomazizi, who is "not here to respond for herself".

Ramaphosa says issues such as these should not be used and trivialised for political purposes.

20 Feb 14:55

Ramaphosa now touches on the "sensitive issue" which was raised by EFF leader Julius Malema in an "improper manner" in National Assembly, when he alleged that Ramaphosa abused his former wife.

20 Feb 14:52

Ramaphosa cites an opinion piece written by Marc Ashton. 

"Much like we need to fight back against corruption, fake news and other societal ills, we need to fight back against pessimists talking down the South African economy. Every time it raises its head, we need to respond."

20 Feb 14:49

20 Feb 14:46

"Land grabs will not be allowed to happen in our country," says Ramaphosa, as he now speaks of the need for redress, in terms of land expropriation without compensation.

Ramaphosa urges everyone to go and thoroughly read Section 25 of the Constitution.

20 Feb 14:43

Ramaphosa says Eskom and Transnet have recovered R2.3bn in funds lost through corruption, and more still needs to be done.

20 Feb 14:41

Ramaphosa now speaks of the National Prosecuting Authority, and says the NPA had advertised "over 800 posts towards the end of last year" to help make it more effective. 

Ramaphosa: "The NPA is a critical component of the criminal justice system that needs to have the means to contribute effectively to the fight against crime."

Ramaphosa: "To tackle serious corruption related to the capture of our state institutions, the NPA's new investigating directorate has been working closely with law enforcement, with SARS, with the financial intelligence centre, with the SIU, the Reserve Bank and private sector, and engaging with the Zondo commission as their work continues."

20 Feb 14:35

20 Feb 14:34

Ramaphosa now talks about building a "capable state" that improves the lives of all South African citizens, and touches on the appalling lack of service delivery in some areas. 

Ramaphosa says national government will be working together with local government in order to improve service delivery where it is lacking. 

Ramaphosa: "Our role is not merely to observe, but our role is also to mobilise all the capacity of the state, of business, of communities and all key roleplayers to fix people's problems. Under the district development model, all three spheres of government will co-ordinate, as Minister Dlamini-Zuma said, it will integrate their services, as well as delivery plans and budgets..."

20 Feb 14:27

Ramaphosa touches on the struggles of some schoolchildren who have to cross rivers to get to school, and mentions the "infrastructure build programme" that we want to see in our country to bring an end to "this inhumanity that continues to be perpetrated against the young people in our country".

Ramaphosa continues to outline more plans for infrastructure development, mentioning the work and projects being carried out by Public Works Minister Patricia de Lille and her department.

20 Feb 14:22

20 Feb 14:21

20 Feb 14:20

20 Feb 14:20

Ramaphosa reads from a letter sent to him in which the writer expresses disappointment at the way in which gender-based violence was used for political points-scoring in Parliament during the SONA debate.

20 Feb 14:14

20 Feb 14:12

20 Feb 14:11

Ramaphosa: "...apartheid was inherently against humanity. It was a crime against the oppressed people of South Africa even before it was so declared by the United Nations in 1973."

20 Feb 14:09

20 Feb 14:08

Ramaphosa starts off by remarking on the vigorous debate which has taken place over the past two days, and says it reflects the diversity of voices.

20 Feb 14:05

President Cyril Ramaphosa is introduced in National Assembly and starts off his speech with the customary greetings.

20 Feb 13:53

20 Feb 13:53


SONA debate: Lamola lays into 'megalomaniac' Malema for 'I'm in charge' comments 

The second of day of the SONA debate ended with Justice and Correctional Services Minister Ronald Lamola lighting up the ANC benches after lambasting EFF leader Julius Malema for claiming he is "in charge" in a democracy.

President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to respond to the debate on his State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Thursday, following two days of pressure from opposition parties in the National Assembly.

But it was Lamola's final speech of the day that brought the National Assembly to life just before 20:00 on Wednesday.

20 Feb 13:53


SONA debate: Sonke Gender Justice wants 'remedial' action against Mamabolo, Malema 

Lobby group Sonke Gender Justice wants "appropriate remedial steps" to be taken against ANC MP Boy Mamabolo and EFF leader Julius Malema for their "politicisation" of gender-based violence (GBV) during Tuesday's debate on the State of the Nation Address.

In a statement released on Wednesday, Sonke condemned "in the strongest sense of the word, the politicisation of gender-based violence".

While Malema was speaking at the debate, his one-time friend, Mamabolo, asked him if he abused his wife. But Malema did not answer immediately and continued with his speech. At the end of the speech, he said he never laid a hand on his wife nor any of his previous partners.

20 Feb 13:53


Cele versus the DA: Smallanyana skeletons crop up in SONA debate 

Police Minister Bheki Cele laid down the law to DA interim leader John Steenhuisen and the DA-run City of Cape Town, but the party remembered some smallanyana skeletons on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, Steenhuisen reiterated the DA's call that policing be devolved to provincial level during the debate on President Cyril Ramaphosa's State of the Nation Address (SONA).

"You could have announced that some of the powers of the police will be devolved to provinces and metros in line with international best practice. Because it makes sense for those closest to communities to be tasked with their protection," he said to Ramaphosa.

On Wednesday, Cele responded when it was his turn to participate in the debate. 

20 Feb 13:53


SONA debate: MPs should apologise for using domestic violence for politicking - Lucas 

The debate on the State of the Nation Address (SONA) resumed on Wednesday without the acrimony that characterised it on Tuesday.

The events of Tuesday were not forgotten, though, as deputy chairperson of the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) Sylvia Lucas said in her speech the previous day saw the issue of "gender-based violence being abused for political point scoring".

She said it was not a matter which can be reduced to politicking and MPs needed to apologise to everybody, particularly survivors.

Given that the scourge of gender-based violence [GBV] is growing, Lucas reasoned that more should be done to fight it and this could only happen if all parties worked together.

20 Feb 13:53


Mamabolo squares up: Bring it on, I will not retract Malema domestic abuse claims 

ANC MP Boy Mamabolo will not be retracting his claim made during the State of the Nation Address (SONA) that EFF leader Julius Malema had beaten his wife, telling Malema and his wife he will meet them in court.

Both Mantoa Matlala and her husband, Malema, have indicated they will sue the politician's one-time friend and comrade, Mamabolo, over his claims of domestic abuse in the Malema household, if he does not issue an apology by Wednesday. The quotes were also run in the Sowetan newspaper, their lawyers said.

Both complaints stated they're seeking damages of R1m each for defamation of character.

Mamabolo, however, was sticking to his guns. 

20 Feb 13:53


Mkhize says MPs 'went too far' on domestic violence at SONA 

Gender-based violence was used as a weapon to "hurt, throw stones and shoot at each other", Deputy Minister in the Presidency for Women, Youth and People with Disabilities Hlengiwe Mkhize said about Tuesday's debate on the State of the Nation Address (SONA).

Mkhize spoke to News24 on Wednesday and said the developments left her shocked and disgusted. 

At the debate, while EFF leader Julius Malema was speaking, ANC MP Boy Mamabolo rose and asked permission to ask a question. Malema took the unusual step of accepting the question during his speech.

20 Feb 13:53


ANC, opposition parties condemn 'proto-fascist' EFF in SONA debate 

The "proto-fascist" EFF was roundly condemned on Tuesday as their disruptions at the start of Thursday evening's State of the Nation Address (SONA) cast a pall on the SONA debate on Tuesday.

The debate of at least 10 hours started in the afternoon, introduced by ANC deputy chief whip Doris Dlakude.

She commended Thursday evening's presiding officers – National Assembly Speaker Thandi Modise and chairperson of the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) Amos Masondo – for "erring on the side of caution in the face of the utmost provocation".

20 Feb 13:53


De Klerk's apartheid denial slammed in SONA debate 

The statement released by the FW de Klerk Foundation, denying apartheid was a crime against humanity and only declared as such due to Soviet propaganda, is "unfortunate, insensitive and reckless", ANC deputy chief whip Doris Dlakude said.

On Tuesday, she opened the debate on President Cyril Ramaphosa's State of the Nation Address (SONA), which was disrupted on Thursday evening when the EFF wanted the former deputy president and final apartheid president FW de Klerk removed from the public gallery, where he sat as a guest of Parliament.

The following day, the foundation released a much-maligned statement.

20 Feb 13:52


Domestic abuse claims fly as Malema's SONA debate speech marred by shouting match 

The debate on President Cyril Ramaphosa's State of the Nation Address (SONA) descended into a shouting match in the National Assembly after an ANC MP accused EFF leader Julius Malema of domestic violence.

As Malema made his way to the podium, following Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu, National Council of Provinces chairperson Amos Masondo said the EFF had 42 minutes of the debate allotted to them.

While Malema had 20 minutes on the schedule, he could speak for the whole 42 minutes if he chose. The EFF MPs cheered.

As Malema got into his speech, ANC MP Boy Mamabolo asked him a question. He wanted to know his thoughts on gender-based violence.

20 Feb 13:52


Ramaphosa 'should have switched off Eskom's life support': No punches pulled at SONA debate 

After President Cyril Ramaphosa delivered his State of the Nation Address last week under the shadow of an under-performing economy, Members of Parliament jostled over whether he was confronted by near-impossible odds or complicit in South Africa's economic quandary.

MPs held the first day of the SONA 2020 debate in the National Assembly on Tuesday afternoon. 

Democratic Alliance leader John Steenhuisen said Ramaphosa failed to capitalise on the optimism at the beginning of his presidency, as economic growth slowed, and direct foreign investment dropped along with tax revenues and employment.

20 Feb 13:52


Steenhuisen: Instead of a new dawn, we have new despair 

The interim leader of the DA, John Steenhuisen, has blasted President Cyril Ramaphosa's State of the Nation Address (SONA), describing it as a "defining moment" which he allowed to "slip away".

"You had all the cards honourable president, and then you went and blew it. You let us down," remarked Steenhuisen.

MPs are currently debating the president's SONA which was delivered last week.

Steenhuisen accused Ramaphosa of consistently choosing the ANC over the country, saying he should use his reply to the debate as an opportunity to redeem himself.

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