ANC MP Kubayi told an associate in 2015: “I want to be Dr Kubayi by the time I turn 40. The plan is to have my PhD before my 40th birthday.”
She revealed that she would turn 40 this year while discussing future plans with the comrade during a tea break from a heated meeting of the ad hoc committee that was probing the Nkandla saga. It eventually absolved President Jacob Zuma of any liability. She vigorously argued that Zuma had not benefited from the controversial upgrades, saying there was no security, let alone comfort, in Nkandla.
While she was criticised by Parliament observers and others for her defence of the president, it was a photo of Kubayi and another ANC MP, Doris Dlakude, doing their nails during a meeting of the committee that put her in the spotlight. They denied they were painting their nails. Kubayi received her master’s degree last year. She has been the chairperson of Parliament’s telecommunications and postal services portfolio committee, a position she was appointed to in 2014. Her star has been rising in the ANC over the past 10 years. She was an ANC councillor (proportional representative) from 2006 to 2009 in Johannesburg, where she chaired the committee on transport. She became an MP in 2009 and, in June 2012, she was appointed as acting chief whip of the ANC.
“I am nervous, excited and overwhelmed,” she told City Press on Friday, a few hours after the news broke that she would be a Cabinet minister.