Johannesburg - With the battle between former president Jacob Zuma and radio personality, Redi Tlhabi, heating up, supporters of the former head of state have accused the latter of being an “attention seeker” and a “stooge”.
On the side of Tlhabi, her supporters are arguing to stand firm and force Zuma to retract claims that she is working on a documentary (a film according to Zuma) that seeks to portray Zuma as a rapist. They are also urging her to lay criminal charges against some of the people who are threatening to harm her and her family as a result of the growing public spat.
Prominent Zuma supporter, Nkosentsha Shezi the leader of the Radical Economic Transformation (RET) champion, told Independent Media that Tlhabi was a “white monopoly capital stooge” and they were puzzled that she even wrote a book about the rape incident. Zuma was acquitted in 2006.
The book Shezi is referring to is titled 'Khwezi - The Remarkable Story Of Fezekile Ntsukela Kuzwayo'. The late Khuzwayo who hailed from KwaMashu in Durban had accused Zuma of rape.
“It is expected of her as a person who is always seeking media publicity and indeed she is one of the stooges of white monopoly capital… In fact, her Khwezi campaign was one of her stunts to get media publicity and if she was a law-abiding citizen she would know better because a court of law has pronounced itself on the issue,” Shezi alleged.
Shezi added that they believe that Tlhabi was part of a group that was paid to tarnish the name of the former head of state.
Although Tlhabi’s application to the commission to cross-examine Zuma is yet to be heard another Zuma supporter, Carl Niehaus, the spokesperson of uMkhonto Wesizwe military Veterans Association (MKMVA) said he was no legal guru but subjecting Zuma to a questioning session that touches on an issue he was acquitted of would fuel perceptions that the commission was veering off course.
He stressed that allowing Tlhabi an opportunity to cross examine the former head of state would help her to use the commission for “propaganda purposes”.
“I am not a lawyer and I am speaking from a layman perspective. Where is the legal legitimacy to cross examine (the former) president on a matter that he has been acquitted of? I don't understand how that matter fits into the narrative of state capture even if you want to push that narrative for your own propagandistic purposes. This is an utterly opportunistic attempt of self promotion by Redi Tlhabi,” Niehaus said.
In an interview on Talk Radio 702 with host Eusebius McKaiser on Tuesday, Tlhabi denied Zuma's claims that she was trying to assassinate his character, saying she knew nothing about the alleged movie production mentioned by the former president last week during his testimony at the State Capture Commission of Inquiry.
She admitted that there were informal requests to make a documentary based on the book but she has not signed any agreement and the people who have approached her were not from the US as Zuma claimed.