President Zuma’s daughter Thuthukile Zuma has finally given in to diverse pressures agitating for her exit as chief of staff in Telecommunications and Postal Services ministry. Lots of criticism trailed her appointment because many considered her too young for the top ministerial post.
However, New24 reports confirmed on Sunday that she finally left the job. Confirming the incidence too, department of Telecommunications and Postal Services spokesperson Siyabonga Qoza said,
“She left at the end of December following a handing over period.
Zuma has been replaced by Frans Mthombeni,” Qoza affirmed.
Qoza also said that Thuthukile Zuma had written to the ministry last year, indicating her interest to quit the job.
It would be recalled that Thuthukile Zuma made headlines in 2014 when she reportedly surfaced a senior government official at the age of 25. Following her appointment, she became the chief of staff at the department of telecommunications and postal services. Earning around R1 million a year.
From all indications, it appeared the post was never advertised and that ministers have the right to make these appointments without going through the normal processes.
Her pronounced rise to the position, which she assumed in May 2014 came after the appointment of her father’s new Cabinet. The development raised concerns about political nepotism at the renamed department of telecommunications and postal services.
Thuthukile however was a model student. She matriculated from Westerford High School, Cape Town in 2006. The University of the Witwatersrand confirmed that Thuthukile graduated with a bachelor of arts degree in April 2011. She also received an honours degree in anthropology in June 2012.
In 2011, when she was 22, she worked at the ANC headquarters, but the ANC maintained that the 25-year old was not being paid rather she simply volunteered to do the job.
However, after her appointment in 2014, 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.
But Thuthukile’s appointment was shielded by Qoza, who said via a statement:
“Thuthukile Zuma’s appointment… is consistent with the rules and regulations governing the appointment of people in government ministries.”
“Telecommunications and Postal Services minister [Siyabonga Cwele] only considered her capacity to do the job and her qualifications. Her genealogy was never a consideration.”
“Just like all citizens, [she] enjoys the freedom to participate in any economic activity, including being employed in government or the private sector.”
It is paramount to note that the chief of staff post is seen as a very powerful and exotic position. With great responsibility of overall management of staff, and the office’s budget in the ministry.
Thuthukile is the youngest of the president’s four daughters with his former wife Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, the current African Union Commission chairperson. Reports say she previously worked with Siyabonga Cwele as Public Liaison Officer at the State Security Agency. Where she spent less than a year.