Johannesburg- Sports, Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa has revealed that actress Natasha Thahane made the request for the funds to study at the New York Film Academy directly from him.
Mthethwa was responding to written parliamentary questions from EFF MP Khanya Ceza after revelations that Thahane, where he admitted that indeed Thahane received R1million to study in the New York Film Academy.
”What we know is that Ms Thahane made a request for financial support towards her studies at the New York Film Academy directly to me as the minister.
“This request is similar to many others that my office and the department constantly receive from members of the public. The public does this possibly because I am the political head of the department,” he said.
“I asked Mam’ Baleka (Mbete) and was like, ‘Mama, I need to go back to school. I’ve been accepted. I don’t know what I’m going to do, can I have funds? Please arrange something for me.’ She managed to speak to (the department) arts and culture and they were able to help me,” Thahane said during an interview on MacG’s Podcast & Chill earlier this year.
She stated that she received the money after reaching out to Baleka.
Social media users accused both Thahane and Mbete of abusing their social and political standing to access the funds.
Thahane changed her tune days later, saying she had no personal relationship with Mbete and had merely run into her and asked her for advice about funding options after she had been accepted by the US film school.
According to Mthethwa, the funding was approved by the deputy director-general for the institutional governance branch in 2017.
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