Natasha Thahane topped the Twitter trends on Saturday morning following her appearance on MacG's Podcast & Chill when she disclosed that she earned over R1 million in government subsidies after reaching out to lawmaker Baleka Mbete. Natasha, Desmond Tutu's granddaughter, told MacG that when she traveled to study in the United States in 2017, she needed help paying for her education at the New York Film Academy.
She went on to say that she then called Baleka and requested her to assist her in obtaining funding for her studies. Baleka reportedly then approached the department of arts to arrange the money in excess of R1 million for Natasha's education. Baleka was the speaker of parliament and the ANC chairman at the time. "I went to Mam' Baleka (Mbete) and said, Mama, I need to go back to school i was accepted. I'm not sure what I'm going to do can i have any money? Please make things happen for me. She was able to communicate with the Department of Arts and Culture, and they were able to assist me," she added on the show.
Social media users were enraged by Natasha's flaunting of status by exposing how simple it was for her to acquire government assistance when many others in worse financial positions struggled. Natasha turned to Twitter to defend herself, including a snapshot of emails she sent to the department that reportedly remained unopened until Baleka interfered. "I applied for money and received no response. Until the school helped me call the department," she wrote. Tweeps were unimpressed with Natasha's explanation.
Aside from the handful who stated they don't blame her for leveraging the connections she had, most people wrote about how unfair life was and how Natasha, the department, or Baleka needed to answer for how the money found its way to the US under Natasha's name.
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