FILE image. Jacob Zuma's daughter, Thuthukile Zuma speaks at the Jacob Zuma Centennial lecture on December 6, 2012 in Potchefstroom.
PRETORIA – Thuthukile Zuma, one of President Jacob Zuma’s daughters, has been appointed as chief of staff in the Telecommunications and Postal Services Ministry – at the age of 25.
In an explosive expose, The Mail & Guardian on Friday reported that Thuthukile may have made history as South Africa’s youngest head of a minister’s office – taking on an extremely powerful position and earning almost a million rand a year.
According to the M&G, Thuthukile’s meteoric rise from a public liaison officer to her new position in May has raised concerns about political nepotism within the department.
She was said to have moved along with Minister Siyabonga Cwele from the State Security Agency to the new telecommunications ministry, where he was appointed as minister of the newly formed portfolio in Zuma’s new cabinet.
The M&G reported that Thuthukile graduated with a bachelor of arts degree at the University of the Witwatersrand in April 2011 and received an honours degree in anthropology in June 2012.
She then went on to work as a public liaison officer in Cwele’s then Ministry of State Security in 2013, before she landed her top job in May this year.
The M&G reported that Thuthukile was appointed to the post without it having been advertised. She was also said to lack the prerequisite managerial qualifications for the position.
Thuthukile refused to discuss her experience and why she qualified for the job when the M&G contacted her.
“Please direct all questions to the relevant department’s spokesperson. I do not answer questions on behalf of the department,” she said, before abruptly putting the phone down.