IFP juniors call on Zuma to nullify ANCYL appointments to youth agency board

2010-10-15 00:00

THE acting national chairperson of the Inkatha Freedom Party Youth Brigade, Pat Lebenya-Ntanzi, yesterday called on President Jacob Zuma to disband the newly-formed National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) over what he calls its “hijacking and manipulation” by the ANC Youth League.

Lebenya-Ntanzi said that of 63 appointments to the provincial advisory boards of the agency, 62 are filled by supporters of the ANC’s youth wing.

The agency is a public entity launched by President Zuma on June 16 last year to initiate, implement, facilitate and monitor youth development interventions and to reduce youth unemployment and promote social cohesion across cultural, racial and political divides.

It replaced the infamous Youth Commission and the Umsobomvu Youth Funds, which were dismantled after complaints that they were benefiting an elite few who were connected to “people in high places”.

On Wednesday, the agency announced the appointment of 63 members of the provincial advisory boards, which are constituted by seven representatives from each of the nine SA provinces.

“But we are now witnessing an illegal take-over of the NYDA by the ­ANCYL. This is a national public entity, funded by the taxpayer and tasked with serving all South Africa’s youth. But the core mandate has been subverted. Now it will serve only the interests of the ANCYL. We therefore call on President Zuma to disband the NYDA immediately,” Lebenya-Ntanzi said.

She added: “Many of the worthy applicants from different political organisations and youth formations, who were successful during the interview process, were rejected for appointment in favour of weaker ANC applicants. This is an abuse of power by the ANC and ANCYL, which places our democracy at stake.”

She said the IFP youth intend to fight what she called a power grab by the ANC and appealed to Zuma either to nullify the appointments or disband the agency.

“We were in the forefront in the struggle to dismantle the Youth Commission and we supported the NYDA, but after these appointments we withdraw our support,” she said.

She said she intends to call on Parliament to launch an urgent investigation into the selections, and added that the youth brigade will lobby support from the general public to join in mass protest against the ANC, the ANCYL, the NYDA and the Presidency.

At the time of going to press NYDA media liaison officer Siyabonga Magadla said he has referred inquiries from The Witness to NYDA chairperson Andile Lungisa, who is also the deputy president of the ANCYL.

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