Redi Tlhabi

Redi Tlhabi is still on the war path when it comes to former president Jacob Zuma and Home Affairs Minister Mlusi Gigaba. Image via Twitter: Redi Tlhabi

Three times Redi Tlhabi clapped back at politicians and celebrities

Not one to mince her words, veteran broadcaster Redi Tlhabi hasn’t shied away from challenging fellow influential figures over their public views or comments.

Redi Tlhabi

Redi Tlhabi is still on the war path when it comes to former president Jacob Zuma and Home Affairs Minister Mlusi Gigaba. Image via Twitter: Redi Tlhabi

Since Redi Tlhabi indicated in July, that she was set on cross-examining former president Jacob Zuma at the Zondo commission on state capture, her name has sometimes popped up as people discuss the commission which is currently underway.

This time, a Twitter user, Phoebe Malebane asked Tlhabi if she would ask Zuma about her allegedly making romantic advances at a hotel towards him. She went on to imply that she was hurt by the supposed rejection and this was her motivation to write a book on Zuma’s 2006 rape trial.

Malebane’s further went onto call Tlhabi derogatory Zulu names adding that there was hotel footage of the alleged advances.

In response, Tlhabi said Zuma was not her type and that she prefered “tall, lean, athletic and educated men.”

We’ve rounded up three other instances where the author wasn’t afraid to speak up.

Three times Redi Tlhabi spoke out

In June, actress Pearl Thusi gave a sit-down interview to rapper AKA on her show, Behind the Story. In the episode, Thusi giggles as AKA makes reference to rocks which he found in his bedroom, shortly after he broke up with media personality Bonang Matheba. The show trended on social media with some suggesting that AKA was indirectly accusing Matheba of witchcraft.  Tlhabi tweeted the exchange between the two was harmful and fuelled gender stereotypes and microaggressions.

“And the interviewer was enjoying it. You CAN in an interview, interrupt & ask tough questions like “Wait, are you really going to perpetuate harmful stereotypes and should YOU not take responsibility for the choices you made?” No need to giggle your way around harmful answers.”

Thusi kept her silence, choosing rather to retweet positive reactions to the interview. 

A war of words erupted between Tlhabi and former minister of finance, Malusi Gigaba in September 2018 when the corporate MC challenged Gigaba’s role in enforcing visa regulations for parents travelling with children. As home affairs minister, Gigaba ensured that visa travel requirements were tightened with parents having to provide an unabridged birth certificate when in transit. Tlhabi said the requirements were in effect because Gigaba’s daughter once travelled with a family member without his consent or knowledge. Gigaba denied this and brought a case of defamation against Tlhabi which is still pending.

Former president Nelson Mandela’s personal assistant, Zelda la Grange found herself in a Twitter storm when she hopped on the platform to share her thoughts around identity and race issues as a white South African.

I’m SICK of Jacob Zuma’s constant go at whites every few months. Why can’t we co-exist without it having to be at the expense of one another

— Zelda (@ZeldalaGrangeSA) January 17, 2015

This resulted in a statement from Tlhabi who tweeted that La Grange appeared to suggest that her identity was not South African and could be revoked at whim. Tlhabi went on to tweet that SA being home meant that there was no one who had the power to make another feel like an outcast. She added that Zuma would have a go at anyone all the time, this included judges, former presidents, cadres and even his own family members.  

La Grange later apologised for her comments.