Redi tells spindoctor to deal with his 'self-esteem'

File: Redi Thlabi is denying former president Jacob Zuma's allegations and has applied to grill him.

File: Redi Thlabi is denying former president Jacob Zuma's allegations and has applied to grill him.

Gallo/Nardus Engelbrecht

JOHANNESBURG – Talkshow radio host Redi Tlhabi has dominated social media once again, this time for taking on a caller about "anti-intellectualism" in the government.

The caller was not just "someone from the public" but rather, the spokesperson for the Department of Sport and Recreation: Esethu Hasane.

He&39;d called into Tlhabi&39;s show on Wednesday to take issue with her on air-comments about anti-intellectualism within government structures.

Hasane claimed that the 702 host had said: “Our government is anti-intellectual. The dumber, the better” in response to a caller who wanted Tlhabi’s opinion on why government does not consult with former president Thabo Mbeki.

Hasane said he found the talk show host&39;s comments offensive.

Tlhabi took a swipe at Hasane and told him to “deal with his self-esteem” issues.

Tlhabi later clarified her comments, saying she believed that “there is a hostility towards intellectualism” in government.

She said she based her views on President Jacob Zuma’s previous comments about "clever blacks" and his comments in Mpumalanga on the firing on former finance minister Nhlanhla Nene.

The conversation became heated when Hasane asked Tlhabi to clarify her “the dumber, the better” comments.

“I feel very sorry for you if your only tool to discernment and interpretation is what people literally mean. I can sit here and say: don’t ask questions. The meaning is the same. If you are waiting for the president to issue an instruction to say that people must not ask questions, then good luck to you,” she said.

“You talk about discernment. Discernment means you look at tonality. You look at subtext and if I’m discouraging you from listening to people who are asking questions then I’m saying that I’m the kind of person who doesn’t welcome that kind of thing, and that’s my interpretation,” Tlhabi added.


See the Twitter reaction below: