President Jacob Zuma is reportedly planning to make a shock announcement by introducing free education across the board through a controversial funding plan that was devised by his future son-in-law, TimesLIVE reports.
According to the report, government insiders claim the funding plan is contrary to the report compiled by the Heher Commission on the feasibility of free higher education, which reportedly found that universal free tertiary education was not feasible. The plan is also said to be against official ANC policy.
The funding plan by Zuma’s future son-in-law, Morris Masutha, could reportedly see the cutting back of departmental budgets across government to make R40 billion available for the 2018 academic year.
Masutha is reported to be engaged to Thuthukile Zuma‚ the president’s youngest daughter from his marriage to ANC MP Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.
The news website reports the announcement is understood to be imminent, but the Presidency on Monday night said there were no plans by the president for any announcement on Tuesday.
Masutha has refused to comment on the matter.
Who is Morris Masutha?
Masutha has apparently acted as Zuma’s “point man” on the fees issue, according to the report. He has made presentations to ANC officials and an interministerial Cabinet committee on his self-devised funding plan, said to revise National Treasury’s entire budget.
The 28-year-old is reported to be the founder of the Thusanani Foundation‚ an education NGO working on addressing disparities in rural schools.
“It is understood that following Zuma’s sudden Cabinet reshuffle last month‚ Masutha was introduced to the new Higher Education and Training Minister Hlengiwe Mkhize and Deputy Minister Buti Manamela‚ as the president’s ‘adviser’.
“Zuma has apparently assigned Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe and his director-general, Mpumi Mpofu, the task of implementing the plan‚ which requires cutbacks in departmental budgets to make funding available.
“Mpofu‚ who was appointed in July‚ is said to have been working with a team from Treasury to ‘find the money for Zuma’,” the report stated.