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Malema: MPs not given enough time to prepare for GBV debate

The EFF leader said they agreed with President Cyril Ramaphosa that the sitting to discuss the scourge of violence was important, but they were not informed in advance.

FILE: EFF leader Julius Malema in Parliament. Picture: @ParliamentofRSA/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG – Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema lashed out at President Cyril Ramaphosa and National Assembly Speaker Thandi Modise for not giving political parties enough time to prepare for the debate in Parliament on gender-based violence (GBV).

Ramaphosa addressed an urgent joint sitting of Parliament on Wednesday where he called for all parties to come together in the fight against GBV. It was the first such sitting called by the president himself since 1994.

Malema said they agreed with Ramaphosa that the sitting to discuss the scourge of violence was important, but they were not informed in advance.

“We are saying you should note the incompetence we are subjected to here. Because coming here, we ought to prepare and conduct our research on issues the president is going to be talking about. If he's got two issues to address, those matters should be brought to us in advance,” Malema said.

At the same time, Ramaphosa said the recent attacks on foreign nationals in the country were a symptom of poor South Africans who wanted to be included in the country’s economy.

He said there was also acts of criminality that needed to be addressed immediately, saying government was listening to its citizens’ concerns.

“So many of our people are frustrated about their social and economic conditions. In responding to these acts of violence and criminality, we must address the intolerance that a number of our own people are displaying towards others, both foreign nationals and South African citizens.”

WATCH: Ramaphosa addresses joint sitting of Parliament on GBV

Meanwhile, opposition parties chastised Ramaphosa and his administration for failing to come up with concrete solutions to combat GBV.

Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane said an emergency plan to address the scourge of GBV needed to happen urgently.

“Gender-based violence is a dark stain in our nation. Every single day, 114 women report rape, Mr president I think the greatest tragedy is that no one actually gets arrested and the conviction rate [for GBV] is less than 5%,” he said.

EFF MP Veronica Mente said GBV in the country was a national crisis.

“The mere fact that the child is yours, does not mean you can violate or abuse them. The mere fact that the wife is yours does not mean you can force them to have sex [with you] or beat them,” she said.