South Africa

South African president accused of nepotism after appointing his 25-year-old daughter to senior government post

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South African president Jacob Zuma has been accused of nepotism after appointing his 25-year-old daughter to a senior government post.

Thuthukile Zuma has moved from a role as a public liaison officer to the powerful position of chief of staff within two months.

The youngest of Zuma’s four daughters, her new career means she now earns almost a million rand (£55,764) a year. 

Thuthukile, who has an honours degree in Anthropology, assumed her new position in May according to the South Africa’s Mail and Guardian after the appointment of her father’s new Cabinet.   

The role was reportedly not advertised and Thuthukile now occupies a similar position to Lakela Kaunda, President Zuma’s chief of staff, who is considered to be one of the most powerful senior managers in the government.

Amid claims of nepotism, the opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) is seeking clarity on the matter and its national spokesperson Marius Redelinghuys is planning to submit written questions to Telecommunications Minister Siyabonga Cwele by the end of the week.

‘Was it advertised? If not, why not? What criteria was set for filling this position, and what influenced the consideration? If it was based on the CV, I’d like to know what other CVs were looked at,’ Redelinghuys told the Mail and Guardian. 

As news of the appointment broke, many angry South Africans took to Twitter to voice their opinion. 

Author Max du Preez wrote: ‘Real sadness about Thuthukile Zuma, with her qualifications & personality she could have made it to the top legitimately.’

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