South African Actress Natasha Thahane has finally opened up on her R1M Funding scandal which attracted a lot of criticism on social media and has said that she did not receive One-Million-Rands (R1 Million) from Baleka Mbete nor the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture in a video circulated on social media.
Thahane has insisted that her statement on the MacG podcast was taken out of context where she revealed that she needed R1 million for tuitions and had asked the Mbete to ‘make a plan’ and that Mbete talked to the people at the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture to help her get funding.
“I would like to profusely apologize to Mam’Baleka Mbethe and the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture because when I watch back at the interview I realised that I spoke about her ngathi [like] we have a personal relationship which is not the case. She was at a meeting, I was in the building I then approached her and I stated that I had been accepted to go study at New York Film Academy and is there any advice she can give me regarding I funding, she then advised me to explore the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture because they’ve got funding opportunities, that was my first conversation and my last conversation with her,” said Natasha Thahane.
“She did not make any calls on my behalf, she did not send any emails on my behalf and I apologise for diluting the entire scenario because now I made it seem like I had a personal relationship with her which was not the case,” added Thahane.
The actress also revealed that she sought funding from many other organizations such as NYDA, NVFV, GFC, but her application got approved and accepted by the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture.
Natasha Thahane reiterated that she only received R350 000 from the Department for her first semester at the academy. “I then received funding towards my tuition for the first semester to the value of R350 000. From that R350 000 I received R315 000 to pay towards my tuition, I then had to submit a report with my grades and showing that I am at school and I am attending at school. I then received an outstanding balance of R35 000 which summed it up to the R350 000. Thahane further stated that she received an undisclosed amount of money from her granny’s retirement fund for the second semester and still owed tuition money.
The Actress said that her reason for sharing and saying that she got funding was to show that she had support throughout her journey and without the funding from the Department she would not have been able to pursue her dream of studying abroad and apologised for the miscommunication and diluting the entire story.