Zondo Commission: Redi Tlhabi applies to give evidence and to cross-examine Zuma's 'rapist narrative' claims

2019-07-22 18:30
Redi Tlhabi (Gallo Images)

Redi Tlhabi (Gallo Images)

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Journalist and broadcaster Redi Tlhabi has applied to give evidence as well as to cross-examine former president Jacob Zuma at the commission of inquiry into state capture following the claims he made about her during his testimony at the commission last week.

This after the former president, during his testimony given to the commission last week, made mention that Tlhabi is working on a film about his rape trial which he was acquitted of in 2007.

"The movie Redi Tlhabi is making is being done in the United States and is named 'Raped by Power'," Zuma said at the commission.

Zuma said Tlhabi was working on a movie allegedly to push a narrative that he is a rapist he told the commission.

In the letter sent to the commission by Webber Wentzel Attorneys, which News24 has seen on Monday, Tlhabi denies the claims by Zuma and describes them as "false and defamatory". 

The letter also states that the allegations created the impression, inter alia, that she had been instructed by foreign agents to disseminate negative propaganda against Zuma.

"As a result of these allegations, our client has suffered, and continues to suffer, harm to her reputation as a respected and trusted journalist and media commentator.

"As a result, our client intends to apply to the commission, in terms of Rule 3.3.6 of the Commission's Rules, to give evidence and to cross-examine Mr Zuma in order to counter the allegations made by Mr Zuma and to ensure that the commission has all relevant information before it so that it is in a position to test the truthfulness of Mr Zuma's allegations," the letter reads.

Zuma was acquitted on a charge of rape which had been laid by Fezekile Ntsukela Kuzwayo, known as "Khwezi" during the trial. 

In 2017 Tlhabi released the book Khwezi: the remarkable story of Fezekile Ntsukela Kuzwayo. She had worked on the book with Kuzwayo before she died in October 2016. 

During his testimony to the commission last week, the former president also claimed there were attempts by certain individuals to "assassinate his character" and according to him, the media was part of the attempt. 

However, the veteran journalist said it was important that she is given the opportunity to give her side, since she had been mentioned. 

She said her applying to give her side was significant and "...speaks to the integrity of the commission and what is allowed to be said there; and what is relevant to be said there. 

"I wouldn't have thought I am relevant to the commission, but a former head of state mentioned me and I think that on principle, it is important that I test his allegations," Tlhabi told News24.

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