Gigaba starts defamation proceedings against Redi Tlhabi after Twitter spat

2018-09-27 21:46
Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba. (Photo: Gallo Images)

Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba. (Photo: Gallo Images)

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Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba is to start defamation proceedings against media personality and author Redi Tlhabi after she failed to apologise for her tweets about travel regulation amendments by the 17:00 deadline he had set for her to do so.

"The Minister of Home Affairs, Malusi Gigaba, has instructed attorneys to institute legal action against Ms Redi Tlhabi for defamation of character," read the one-line statement on a Department of Home Affairs letterhead.

Spokesperson Thabo Mokgola said he would not comment beyond that.

Gigaba gave Tlhabi an ultimatum to apologise for comments made during an argument on Twitter over an announcement that documentation proving that parental consent for a minor to travel was no longer a requirement. 

This was a major turnaround from a policy instituted to prevent human trafficking, but which had the inadvertent effect of making travel to South Africa more difficult with children.

The announcement led to a series of tweets by Tlhabi, in which she accused Gigaba of implementing policies "without empirical evidence", claiming the decision was one driven by Gigaba's "ego".

READ MORE: It's Twar: Gigaba gives Redi Tlhabi deadline to apologise or face 'hefty damages claim'

Tlhabi also alleged that Gigaba had had a personal issue with his former wife about a trip involving his daughter, and accused him of formulating the new regulations to suit his personal life.

That was when the gloves came off for Gigaba, who objected to his daughter being named.

Tlhabi also tweeted a link to an article about an incident involving his daughter's travel arrangements.

Twitter users wasted no time in crafting memes and one-liners over the spectacle that unfolded on Wednesday night, as Thursday's deadline came and went.

Comment from Tlhabi was not immediately available, however she later tweeted that she has not received any legal correspondence. 

Read more on:    redi tlhabi  |  malusi ­gigaba

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