Natasha Thahane: I didn't get R1mil & don't have a relationship with Mam'Baleka

Many are calling for answers regarding funding given to the actress for her to study in the US.

Natasha Thahane. @Natasha_Thahane/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - South African actor Natasha Thahane has clarified what she said were words taken out of context during an interview, which had landed her in hot water.

Thahane, who is the granddaughter of Nobel Laureate Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, conducted an interview with Macgyver Mukwevho on _Podcast and Chill with Mac G _and a short promo clip was posted to social media in which she states she received funding from the Department of Arts, Culture and Sports to study at the New York Film in 2017 after asking for help from former National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete.

She said she'd made a call to Mbete, whom she referred to as _"Mam'Baleka", _who subsequently got in touch with the department to arrange for funding to be made available.

Although she did not state that she'd gotten R1 million from the department, many believed that her reference to the total costs being R1 million were an indication that she received that amount.

A fuller clip reveals she said she did not get the full R 1 million.

Outrage soon followed on social media with many demanding answers from Thahane, Mbete and the department, especially with the department currently embroiled in scandals where millions meant to support artists during the COVID-19 pandemic were alleged misappropriated and not given to those who needed assistance the most.

Following the development, Thahane posted videos on her social media accounts to "clarify" what she'd said in the interview.

"I did not receive R1 million from Mam'Baleka Mbete or the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture. If you listen to the interview, you will realise it was taken out of context.

"When I look back, I realise I spoke about her as if 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've been accepted to study at the New York Film Academy and is there any advice you can give me regarding funding?'"

People responded to the statement with scepticism and still demanded answers.