Redi Thlabi: the gangster who loved me

By admin
23 November 2012

The radio host’s new book lays bare a troubled childhood relationship

He was feared and loathed in the township – a monster who raped, murdered and terrorised. But she saw another side of him.

He would do anything for her and was fiercely protective of her . . . to the extent that he even killed for her.

Eleven-year-old Redi could tell anything to Mabegzo, the gangster who’d befriended her – including confiding in him about the boy who pestered her and kept threatening to rape her.

One day this boy pulled down her pants in public, exposing her sanitary pad to his laughing friends. Redi told a shocked Mabegzo about it – and a few days later the boy was dead, stabbed not far from his home.

Mabegzo is the subject of a gripping new book by Redi Tlhabi (34), whom the country has come to know as a no-nonsense radio host with strong views on crime, human rights and politics on Talk Radio 702 and 567 CapeTalk.

But beneath her polished veneer lay the story of an unusual childhood relationship that gnawed at her for years.

That relationship has now been exposed in her debut as an author, Endings and Beginnings: A Story of Healing. Through interviews with Mabegzo’s family and friends the book tries to make sense of the man.

Read more in Eddie Maluleke Kalili’s article in YOU 29 November 2012.

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