Redi Thlabi Applies to Question Zuma Over ‘Rapist Narrative’ Claims At State Capture Inquiry

Riyaz Patel

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

Zuma said 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, and aims to push the narrative that Zuma is a rapist.

In the letter sent to the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture by Webber Wentzel Attorneys, Tlhabi denies Zuma’s claims and describes his statements as “false and defamatory.” 

The letter also states that the allegations created the impression that Thlabi 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.

Thlabi said it’s important that she be given an opportunity to give her side, since she had been mentioned, and her action “speaks to the integrity of the commission and what is allowed to be said there; and what is relevant to be said there.”

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