Redi Tlhabi and former president Jacob Zuma.
Redi Tlhabi and former president Jacob Zuma.

Tlhabi is Redi to challenge Zuma's 'Raped by Power' claims

By LEHLOHONOLO MASHIGO Time of article published Jul 23, 2019

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Journalist Redi Tlhabi has hit back at former president Jacob Zuma for saying she was involved in a movie besmirching his name allegedly titled "Raped by Power". 

In an interview with Talk Radio 702 host Eusebius McKaiser on Tuesday, Tlhabi refuted 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. 

Tlhabi has applied to the commission of inquiry to give evidence and cross examine Zuma on the allegations he made against her under oath.

In his opening remarks last week, Zuma told the commission that Tlhabi was part of a dark conspiracy to tarnish his name and mentioned the production of a film meant to show him as a rapist as part of the attack on his character.

The movie, he said, is set be an adaptation of Tlhabi's  2017 book 'Khwezi', which details the court case where Zuma was found later not found guilty of raping Fezekile Kuzwayo.

The author and journalist said she had received many offers to make a movie adaptation of her book.

She said it was common for people to want to adapt her books.

“I would be sitting at Tasha's drinking my cappuccino and someone would say: ‘Hey Redi, I read your book, I’m an aspiring filmmaker - can I do the film?’ It's been happening all over,” she said.

She said she hasn’t signed anything or planned to produce a film and that none of the people who have approached her are from the US.

She said she was curious as to where Zuma got his information from.

Tlhabi said at first she laughed off the allegations but upon reflection realised the gravity of the matter.

“Upon reflection, I realised this can't be dismissed as delusions of grandeur of a former head of state. He is a head of state, so what comes out of his mouth is significant,” she said

She said people on social media have asked why she was bothering with the allegation.

"I bother precisely because if the commission is to restore its dignity, then it's important that the content and the matters  it deals with are of a serious nature. 

"If somebody can tell a brazen lie under oath, it is appropriate to question what else is he lying about.  

“If the theme of this commission is state capture, then by his testimony the former president is raising serious questions about how he accesses information, how he makes decisions and what other decisions were made in the name of the Republic using the same type of modus operandi and the same unreliable information. It's important that we go there,” she said. 

She also said at a personal level, there is a part of her that wants to challenge Zuma and his allegations as they have implications on her professionally

She said that since she left radio she works as a speaker and moderator among other things and she can't be seen to be getting information from shadowy and dark sources to bring the former president down.

"As someone who goes to United Nations and speaks to presidents and newsmakers, if the last word on my profession and how I do my work is that I work with foreign forces to bring down presidents, then we actually have to test that and see who is the last man standing," she said.

The Star

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