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Politicians slammed for using GBV to score political points in Sona debate

The debate on the State of the Nation Address (Sona) degenerated into chaotic scenes on Tuesday when Malema left the National Assembly after a heated argument with the ANC's Boy Mamabolo, who accused him of beating his wife.

Parliamentarians listen to President Cyril Ramaphosa's State of the Nation Address on 13 February 2020. Picture: GCIS

JOHANNESBURG - Anti-gender-based violence groups have called on the African National Congress (ANC) and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) to provide evidence to back up serious accusations that their leaders Julius Malema and President Cyril Ramaphosa have been abusing women.

The debate on the State of the Nation Address (Sona) degenerated into chaotic scenes on Tuesday when Malema left the National Assembly after a heated argument with the ANC's Boy Mamabolo, who accused him of beating his wife.

During the sitting, Malema failed to withdraw his accusation that Ramaphosa also abused his late former wife.

WATCH: Malema leaves Parliament after heated debate

Not In My Name SA's Themba Masango said that it was sickening to see politicians use gender-based violence to score political points.

"It's a new low. Men and their egos could not resist using gender-based violence."

Masango has called on the ANC to come forward with a police case number to show that the serious allegation that Julius Malema's wife was being abused had been reported to authorities.

“These aren’t games that we are playing here. We are really facing a pandemic [where] men are at war with the woman of South Africa. And we cannot claim to live in a truly liberated country when we have issues like these with our leaders in Parliament being accused of being perpetrators of violence,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Commission for Gender Equality's Javu Baloyi agreed that police needed to follow up on these allegations so that women could be protected.

"It's time for the rhetoric to stop and give evidence in cases that have been opened before to say there was abuse by this person or that person."

Both groups said that leaders needed to lead by example and not make light of the serious crisis that women face every day in this country.