GBV no tool for political point scoring, says ANCWL on MPs' abuse claims

Mantoa Matlala-Malema is seen during the funeral service of the late Yvonne Mantoa Kgotleng-Khoza.
Mantoa Matlala-Malema is seen during the funeral service of the late Yvonne Mantoa Kgotleng-Khoza.
Frennie Shivambu, Gallo Images

The ANC Women's League (ANCWL) is upset that women are being used as shields in the ideological war being fought in Parliament.

This after claims of gender-based violence (GBV) were levelled at EFF leader Julius Malema and President Cyril Ramaphosa during the State of the Nation Address (SONA) and subsequent debate on it. 

"These actions are the highest form of misogyny, aimed at reducing the plight of women into a joke to flex their shameless machismo," said ANCWL secretary-general Meokgo Matuba on Wednesday.

"As the ANCWL, we are appalled by men who use women as a shield when losing arguments in the ideological warfare in Parliament." 

Matuba called out ANC MP Boy Mamabolo, who alleged last Thursday during a SONA verbal fracas that Malema beat his wife, Mantoa Matlala-Malema, and Malema for alleging on Tuesday that Ramaphosa had beaten his late second wife, Nomazizi Mtshotshisa.

"That was a highly inhumane and misguided attack towards an innocent woman who is not even a politician but married to one," she said of Mamabolo's comment regarding Matlala-Malema.

"As the women's league we condemn this barbaric act of stripping a woman of her dignity and positioning her as a weak docile object for male domination and abuse." 

Matuba said Malema had used GBV as an "undercut" and "scapegoat" when losing an argument. 

"As women of this country, we cannot stand by and watch men undermine us and reducing GBV into a tool for political point scoring and scapegoating when intellectual incapacities are exposed.

READ | Malema's wife also suing ANC MP Mamabolo for R1m over domestic abuse claims

"Gender-based violence is a national crisis, with figures five times higher than the global average. Actions by these men can't be justified, Parliament is a space where women's rights should be protected [rather] than infringed.

"Women's struggles should never be used for political and ideological contestation in Parliament. 

"If men cannot debate or are incapacitated for advancing their ideas in Parliament then they should not be in Parliament. Any coward who uses women as scapegoats to shield incapacity will be called out and must be dealt with.

"The ANC must deal with any misogynist who undermines women in the name of defending the ANC," Matuba said.

Malema and Matlala-Malema are each suing Mamabolo for R1m over the allegation. 

On Tuesday, Malema stated Mamabolo's comment was protected by parliamentary privilege when he said it in the House but claimed he had repeated it outside the House too. 

Ramaphosa is expected to submit his reply to the post-SONA debate on Thursday.

Mamabolo indicated he would not retract the claims he had made. 

In a previous interview with the late Mtshotshisa posted on Cape Talk, she said Ramaphosa had never hit her.

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