Cape Town - Morris Masutha, who was alleged to be an adviser to President Jacob Zuma, has been nominated to form part of the leadership of the Progressive Professional Forum (PPF).
Masutha will head the PPF's research development, it said in a statement on Saturday, adding that Senamile Masango will be in charge of innovation and technology.
The PPF, which in the past denied that it was "owned or funded in any way illegally, or legally or clandestinely by the Gupta family", describes itself as is a body of progressive professionals organised across the country with the aim to work with and assist the government.
The PPF said it is "grateful and delighted" that both Masutha and Masango will be sharing their "needed expertise" with the organisation.
"Masutha is the executive director and senior researcher at the Centre for Emerging Researchers, known for his contribution in the body of knowledge in the current government policy of Free Education," the PFF said.
He holds a BA in economic geography, a BSc Honours in food security and environmental studies from the University of the Witwatersrand and a masters degree in local economic development and SMMEs from the University of Johannesburg. He is currently completing a PhD in higher education management at the University of Bath’s International Centre for Higher Education Management.
President Jacob Zuma and Mukovhe Morris Masutha (GCIS)
Masango is founder and chairperson of Women in Science (Wise Africa), an NGO registered with the department of Social Development, which is preoccupied in providing leadership and role models for young people wishing to enter the fields of Science and Technology.
She is currently studying towards a masters degree in nuclear physics at the University of the Western Cape.
"These two young and highly skilled South Africans are an embodiment of black excellence and we are positive they will add even more value as we take the PPF to the next trajectory."
Last month, Zuma announced that free higher education would be made available to students from households that have a combined annual income of R350 000.
His announcement followed a report by the Heher Commission of Inquiry after widespread protests at universities over fees, which found that universal free education was not feasible.
Late last year, reports emerged that Masutha, who previously dated Zuma’s daughter, had advised the president on the new funding model.
Masutha has since denied that he had shaped the funding model announced by Zuma.
News24 revealed in November that Masutha, who was a prominent leader in the Fees Must Fall campaign, had been listed as an employee of the State Security Agency (SSA) during his time as a student activist at Wits University.
Later, Masutha told PowerFM that he was not a spy for the SSA, but his first job was in economic intelligence, because that was his major at university.
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