Former radio host Redi Tlhabi and former Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi have been trending since Tuesday over Tlhabi’s comment on author Jacques Pauw’s fabrications.
Pauw on Tuesday apologised for writing an opinion piece in which he falsely accused police officers of stealing his money after his arrest on 6 February. He said he had had too much to drink.
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His apology divided social media users, with some arguing he should be forgiven because of his “good” journalism career, while others said he should face the consequences of his lies.
Commenting on the matter, Tlhabi admitted Pauw was a good journalist who exposed apartheid atrocities and was hated by the apartheid state as a result.
“But we are not talking about that now. We need not be quiet because he’s a great journalist. Being a great journalist doesn’t give him a free pass and doesn’t compel you to accept apology
“Condemning his disgusting behaviour and shameful mendacity is the right thing to do. For a number of reasons. The main one for me is because he has made his name and built his brand on condemning lies and abuse. So we have a moral and professional duty to return the favour,” said Tlhabi in a series of tweets.
Ausi @RediTlhabi EQUIVOCATION is precisely about justifying or explaining your condemnation of Pauw as the fist comment you made. This desperate need to “balance” it, remind us or yourself that “he is award deserving” & this truth is EQUAL to the truth of his disgusting behaviour https://t.co/pp8gGZxpqh pic.twitter.com/X5rh50EOTg
— Mbuyiseni Ndlozi (@MbuyiseniNdlozi) February 17, 2021
However, Ndlozi told Tlhabi she should have just condemned Pauw without bringing up his achievements.
“Is it so hard to condemn white violence without equivocation? Here is the fearless Ausi [sister] Redi Tlhabi qualifying her condemnation of an instance of racist, fake, abusive and idiotic journalism. Truly heartbreaking,” said Ndlozi.
“You could not have read my entire thread and come to this conclusion. I was debunking exactly this notion that because he is a good journalist, then he must escape censor as many were doing. Laying out that we already know this and his actions and instincts warrant strong condemnation
“And you choose one tweet in a thread and leave out the fundamental point that Pauw has built his name out of condemning others and must thus receive the very same rebuttal. You ignore all my tweets calling his actions an abuse of power and fruits privileged identity,” said Tlhabi in response.
— Mbuyiseni Ndlozi (@MbuyiseniNdlozi) February 18, 2021
The two have been exchanging blows since, with Tlhabi telling Ndlozi to stop exaggerating his “heartbreak” over the matter, as Ndlozi continues to accuse Tlhabi of defending Pauw.
“I could not have broken your heart anymore than your electoral outcomes and position in your party. I’ve some ice to cool you down,” she said.
But Ndlozi says ice is the temperature of Tlhabi’s “psychotic low self-esteem”.
????Your first tweet about me was that I was fearless????. You said “Even the fearless Ausi Redi.” 3 hours later “pyschotic low self-esteem.” ???? Those attributes are contradictory The one is the opposite of the other. Flip flopping & ice do cause cognitive dissonance, I guess. Bye https://t.co/bG0dXd0f7M pic.twitter.com/0q3ujiYXDu
— Redi Tlhabi (@RediTlhabi) February 17, 2021