Natasha Thahane U-turns on government study aid, 'absolves' Baleka Mbete

01 December 2021 - 09:00 By Joy Mphande
Natasha Thahane has responded to the R1m bursary scandal.
Natasha Thahane has responded to the R1m bursary scandal.
Image: Instagram/Natasha Thahane

Natasha Thahane has finally cleared the air on claims that she received funds from the department of sport, arts and culture towards her studies at the New York Film Academy with the help of politician Baleka Mbete.

An interview with the actress on Podcast and Chill with Mac G caused an uproar on social media after she revealed she had “made a call” to former deputy president Baleka to ask for her assistance. 

“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 of] arts and culture and they gave me funding," she said.

On Tuesday, Natasha posted a video on social media in which she apologised to the former deputy president and the department for alluding to having had a personal relationship with them. She claimed her words were taken out of context.

“I did not receive R1m from Mam' Baleka Mbete or the department of sport, arts and culture,” she said.

She said she had run into Mbete and asked her for advice about funding options after she had been accepted by the New York film school.  

“She then advised me to explore the department of sports, arts and culture because they have funding opportunities. That was my first conversation and my last conversation with her. She did not make any calls on my behalf and did not send any emails on my behalf, and I apologise for diluting the entire scenario because I made it seem like I had a personal relationship with her.”

Natasha added that after her funding application was approved by the department, she received only R350,000 for her first semester's tuition fees. A family member helped her to cover the remainder.

Listen to the full statement below:

Social media has been up in arms and unimpressed with her official statement.

Take a look at some of the reactions to her post below: