EFF leader Julius Malema and his wife Mantoa Matlala will this week urgently seek the intervention of the courts as the pair drags ANC MP Boy Mamabolo to the Limpopo High Court.
The saga began during the state of the nation address on February 13, when Mamabolo accused Malema of abusing his wife.
He later repeated the allegation in the Sowetan newspaper and again when he posed the question to the EFF leader during day one of the debate on the state of the nation address.
The Malemas intend to make an application in the court on Wednesday.
In a 97-page affidavit, the couple say that they want the court to adjudge Mamabolo’s utterances as defamatory and unlawful.
They also want the MP – who grew up a stone’s throw away from them in Seshego, Polokwane – to make a public apology and pay damages amounting to R2 million.
Alternatively, the pair wants the court to agree to hear oral testimony from their legal representatives and give them the chance to cross-examine Mamabolo.
Mamabolo has already paid R15 000 in legal costs to the couple. Annexed in the affidavit is email correspondence between Mamabolo and the Malemas, in which they reject a statement of apology he issued on social media and in emails to the pair.
In an email to the EFF leader, Mamabolo wrote: “It was a wrong platform for me to pose that question to you and other comments made outside Parliament which brought your names into disrepute, I therefore humbly, sincerely and unreservedly apologise.
“Please accept my apology as we still have a long way to go to serve our people in Parliament, and personal matters must never be brought forward.”
In the email to Matlala, he wrote: “The question was influenced by the text and WhatsApp messages that I received from your friends (which I had decided to delete today) alleging that you are being abused by your husband verbally, emotionally and sometimes physically.”
The legal team representing the Malemas called on Mamabolo to issue a statement that has been approved by the couple.
It reads: “I would like to offer my sincere and unreserved apology to Mr and Mrs Malema for the unfortunate comments I made during the state of the nation address on February 13 2020. I repeated these harmful comments in the media and on the occasion of the debate of the state of the nation address on February 18 2020.
“It was uncalled for. No one should falsely accuse anyone of, or even joke about, gender-based violence. I understand that this put not only you in harm, but also your children. I apologise and commit to never repeat these comments anywhere ever again.”
The statements also imply that I am weak, powerless and unable to speak for myself on a matter as serious as violence against me personally
Matlala has since stated in her affidavit that Mamabolo took her agency away in the name of cheap politicking.
“The statements also imply that I am weak, powerless and unable to speak for myself on a matter as serious as violence against me personally. They imply that I am unable to report a crime of abuse to the police and that I need the likes of the respondent to speak on my behalf,” Matlala said.
Her affidavit reads: “I live a private life. If I have a contribution to make publicly, I will do so on my terms and at a time of my choosing. Yet the stunt pulled by the respondent thrust me into the public space on a topic and timing of his choice, without my consent and without any attempt at consulting me.
“This is a gross invasion of my rights to equality, privacy and dignity. In supporting this application, I do so in order to safeguard my constitutionally protected rights.
“Beyond the falsity of the comments, the statements themselves are disgusting, to say the least. The respondent admits that he was willing to objectify women – and the issue of gender-based violence – to ‘beat’ my husband. The irony should not be lost on the court.”
She adds that the relief sought from the courts is necessary to protect her rights.
The EFF leader responded to Mamabolo in Parliament, saying that he had never assaulted his wife, nor any other woman.
He then turned the tables and called on President Cyril Ramaphosa to come clean about allegedly abusing his late wife Nomazizi.
In his affidavit, Malema said Mamabolo’s comments brought his family into disrepute and also had the potential to affect his children.
“The actions of the respondent have now invited everyone to pry into our private lives – without foundation. The respondent has set the rumour mill into overdrive and has opened us up to psychologically and emotionally damaging coverage.”