ENTERTAINMENT

The Fearless Buhle Mkhize

Mkhize had an extramarital affair with Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba but she is not taking any criticism.

10/05/2017 17:27 SAST | Updated 17/05/2017 09:13 SAST

The former mistress of Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba, Buhle Mkhize, set Twitter ablaze on Tuesday night when she threatened to release more details of her affair with the minister, who is less than two months in the portfolio.

Mkhize was reacting to an interview Gigaba's wife Nomachule did with eNCA during which she accused her of trying to break her family apart.

Read: Gigaba's Former Mistress Took SA Twitter On An Emotional Rollercoaster, And We Were Barely Able To Cope

The (former) love triangle and the spat between Mkhize and Noma trended on social media on Tuesday night.

So who is this Buhle Mkhize?
Mkhize is a celebrity stylist, fashion curator and yoga instructor based in New York.

She was born and bred in Gezinsila in the Eshowe region of KwaZulu-Natal.

During an interview with Bona Magazine, Mkhize said she grew up poor -- a few lucky breaks took her from having nothing, to seemingly having it all. "I grew up in Gezinsila, KZN or Emagogogweni as the locals call it because the houses there are made of tin. We lived in a one bedroom house that my father built himself; now I own a luxury condo in Manhattan," she told the magazine.

She first moved overseas in 2001 with a friend after completing matric to become an au pair in Amsterdam and London.

A move to the U.S. was what really started changing the path of her life: "As an au pair I was always around rich people and admired by wealthy men, even though I was nobody. I started getting invites to the 'right parties' and I made the 'right friends' who loved my fashion sense."

Mkhize told the magazine that she also plays fashion police at high profile events and dresses high-profile clients like Bruno Mars, for awards ceremonies.

The affair
News of the then home affairs minister's extramarital affair with Mkhize was first flung in the spotlight in 2015 when Mkhize and Mrs Gigaba, known affectionately as Mrs Gigabyte, had it out on social media with Mrs Gigabyte calling Mkhize a prostitute.

She accused Mkhize of blackmailing her family and demanding money from them in exchange for her silence.

According to Mkhize, an arrangement was made in co-operation with SA Intelligence to have R500,000 given to her in order for her to keep her mouth shut about the affair.

She claimed the deal fell through after Noma began attacking her on social media.

In an open letter penned as an attempt to clear her name, Mkhize alleged Gigaba lied about seeing her behind his wife's back, despite being in contact with her in the days leading up to his wedding in August 2014.

That interview
In her interview with eNCA, which has since gone viral, Mrs Gigabyte said Mkhize tried to break her family apart.

"When you were having fun, you didn't contact me then, I responded to those messages in that way. They were screengrabbed and sent to the media," she told the news channel.

She said it is her right to protect her family.

"I'm the one he made vows to and I had to take care of the situation... This is my house. I told myself that nobody would take me out of it. Also, I will fight my husband on my own terms. I waited for the right time to ask him what happened," she said.

Mkhize won't take it lying down
On Tuesday, after the interview went viral, a Twitter account alleging to be owned by Mkhize hit back at both the minister and his wife.

On the account, which gathered over 19,000 followers overnight, Mkhize claims to have evidence that could destroy the couple if the minister does not stop his wife from talking about the affair.

On Wednesday, she tweeted a powerpoint slide in which she said she would no longer delete the account as per her earlier assertions.

Gigaba's spokesperson, Mayihlome Tshwete, has since said the minister will not be responding to the furore as he is focused on his job.

Following the viral response to her interview, eNCA's Ayanda-Allie Paine called on people to not take matters out of context.

The latest tweet from Mkhize's account suggests that she may be holding back from posting, for now.