Twitter weighs in on GBV claims at Sona debate: 'Gender-based violence is not a political game'
Allegations of gender-based violence (GBV) on Tuesday sparked a heated debate online after accusations were levelled against political leaders in parliament.
During the debate on President Cyril Ramaphosa's state of the nation address (Sona), EFF leader Julius Malema accused Ramaphosa of beating his former wife, Nomazizi Mtshotshisa.
Ramaphosa had previously denied that he ever attacked her, TimesLIVE reported.
PODCAST | Sona and its fallout: who runs parliament in 2020?
Defending Ramaphosa, ANC MP Boy Mamabolo used his response to accuse Malema of physically abusing his wife, Mantwa.
After attempting to continue with his speech, Malema denied the allegations, before leaving parliament with party members.
“No, I don’t beat up my wife. But can you answer the question, Mr President? Ramaphosa has a history of beating up his late wife. I don’t have a history of abusing women, I have a history of love. President Zuma can confirm that Ramaphosa’s wife used to complain to him about Cyril’s behaviour.
“When I spoke here during the Sona debate last year, anyone who has never beaten his wife in the past 25 years must raise his hand and I said I can do that because I have no history of such things,” said Malema.
Malema said he would sue Mamabolo because Mamabolo repeated the allegations against him outside parliament.
Online, many, including veteran radio personality Redi Tlhabi, shared their views.
Here is a snapshot of some of the reactions.
Dear South African women. NONE of the Members of Parliament who "raised" violence against women (otherwise known as gender-based violence) are on your side. Not the men who raised it. Not the women who cheered. You are on your own against toxic men & lawmakers. ON YOUR OWN.— Redi Tlhabi (@RediTlhabi) February 18, 2020
Grown men in Parliament using Gender based violence to score political points and it ends up in chuckles.— Manny Madumise (@MannyMadumise) February 19, 2020
Gender based violence is a serious matter and must be treated as such. I hope Mantwa gathers the strength to address these allegations, for Boy, a supposed friend to drag her name in Parliament for political points is uncalled for.— Maria Zakharova (@Ma_LoJ) February 18, 2020
Gender Based Violence is not a political game. It is the reality of many South Africans. What happened yesterday in Parliament made light of GBV and showed us the lack of commitment to end/reduce GBV— Letlhogonolo (@Mr_Mokgoroane) February 19, 2020
Allegations of the committing of gender based violence by Parliamentarians should not be ignored or deferred in Parliament sitting. Public reps must account promptly! As much as the Rules of the House are to be adhered to, issues of GBV are serious in our society.#SONAdebate— Mbali Motšoeneng ♡ (@Mbali_Bloom) February 18, 2020
Gender Based Violence is not a joke.Using someones pain to fuel your agenda is wrong and uncalled for. Its very shameful to witness our Politicians using it to settle political scores in parliament whereas they should be coming up with progressive laws and solutions to address it— Edgar Legoale (@EdgarLegoale) February 18, 2020
The use of gender based violence to score cheap political points is a new low for Parliament. How it is going be dealt with will determine the future of democracy in South Africa. @MYANC must do some serious soul searching of the role that factional politics played in this.— Annelize van Wyk (@annelizevanwyk) February 18, 2020
Day one of parliament's debate on President Cyril Ramaphosa's state of the nation address (Sona) address last week took place on February 18 2020. Opposition leaders Julius Malema, John Steenhuisen and Pieter Groenewald led the debate, expressing their unhappiness with Ramaphosa's address.