Actress Natasha Thahane has finally cleared the air on claims she made this week that saw her top the trends list on social media.
In an interview on “Podcast and Chill with MacG, Natasha claimed 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.
“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 gave me funding,” she said.
Her claims caused an uproar on social media with One SA Movement leader Mmusi Maimane demanding answers from the actress and government.
Now, in a video she posted on her social media accounts, the actress apologised to the former deputy president and the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture for alluding to having a personal relationship with them and claimed that her words were taken out of context.
“I did not receive R1 million from Mam Baleka Mbethe or the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture,” she said.
Natasha said she approached the politician for advice about funding options when they were in the same building after she had been accepted by the New York film school.
“She then advised me to explore the Department of Sports and Arts and Culture because they have got 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.”
The “Blood & Water” star went on to say that after her funding application was approved by the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture she only received R350 000 for her first semester towards her tuition.
She said she also got help from a family member for the rest of her tuition.
However, many social media users were not happy with her explanation with many tweeps mentioning that there are holes in her story.
In the interview she says Mam Baleka spoke to the department. Now she says Mam Baleka told her to contact the department as if she merely advised her. 🥴— Sámm Adriano Jr. (@Samm_Adrian) November 30, 2021
Nna personally I don’t believe you sestere 🙏🏾 https://t.co/WOxBphcF31— Mfana Ka Aunty. (@MfanaKaAuntyZA) November 30, 2021
You don't know her personally but she was in a building having a meeting, and you happened to be in the same building at the same time- coincidently at a point where you had just been accepted into a school and needed funding for it? Hahahahahaha okay. https://t.co/ZMcjPA2Xnz— Liz (@Shonda512) November 30, 2021
Ladies and gentlemen, meet irregular expenditure... https://t.co/IkgQMTAoGX— Kamo (@kamo_forever) November 30, 2021
You said you had called her, now you randomly bumped into her?😩 https://t.co/0HlCH5VxKp— sorry hermano (@onkeinthemud) November 30, 2021
She literally changed the whole story, unamanga Natasha https://t.co/P2cuoTplew— Lungz🦋 (@NomaswaziM_) November 30, 2021
Oksalayo you received a bursary illegally & you received in that 1 Mill+ 350K+it had 100K more than the prescribed limit, you exploited the fact that your grandpa is Tutu— Sunshine 🤩 (@Bikofiles) November 30, 2021
Students starve to death in SA while you enjoy vacation studies in US at their expense#Natasha #Tembisa10 https://t.co/j1qCKbcTu3 pic.twitter.com/CNj4yOAmtF