Mmusi Maimane has called on Nathi Mthethwa to clarify Natasha Thahane funding from government.
This is coming after the star revealed that Baleka Mbete who was a government official as of 2017 provided money for her studies at the New York Film Academy, which amounted to more than R1m.
Natasha made this known through an interview on MacG’s Podcast & Chill.
Natasha alleged Mbete reached out to the department of arts to arrange money that went towards her studies after her funding application went unanswered.
In a lengthy post on social media, Mmusi said a “conversation with the nation” was needed about Natasha’s academic funding.
“Funding for education must come through the proper channels and must be allocated according to need. Our government is not doing enough for students and this must change,” he said.
“Education is one of the main ways to get families out of economic adversity and on a path to wealth building. We need to make sure our limited funds are used in the best way possible to maximise the nation’s return on investment and to address national skills needs.”
Mmusi said the matter should be used to highlight the pressing challenges affecting many students in the higher education system, and both Natasha and the sport, arts and culture minister owe the public an explanation.
“I hope you can have a conversation with the nation about this academic funding. How much it was, how it was processed and your reflections on your personal use of networks to access state support. I think you do owe the public that much, Natasha,” he said.
“Mr condolences Nathi Mthethwa, we also need clarity from your office about the disbursement of these funds.”