DA, IFP call to disband NYDA

2013-07-29 00:00

THE DA and IFP have renewed calls to disband the embattled National Youth Development Agency amid allegations of fraud and the suspensions of top brass within the institution.

This comes after weekend reports that the public protector is investigating allegations against former NYDA chairman Andile Lungisa and his former deputy, Yershen Pillay, who are alleged to have abused their state-issued credit cards.

Sunday World reported yesterday that the credit cards were used to pay former ANC Youth League president Julius Malema’s rent, hotel stays, car rental and for petrol and hardware purchases after their terms ended.

The newspaper particularly fingered Pillay, the new NYDA chairperson after his appointment in March, for racking up a R23 000 cellphone bill. It said an internal memorandum states that he needs to repay a total of R185 660 and that the auditor-general found Pillay had submitted vouchers for expenses totalling R162 589 after their due date.

Pillay declined to comment yesterday, referring questions to chief finance officer Khathu Ramukumba.

Ramukumba said Pillay had used the credit card when he was deputy chairman in the previous term, but failed to submit supporting documents.

He said Pillay had not used the card for purposes beyond its intended use.

“Since we wrote him letters last year, he submitted receipts totalling R77 000. He has committed to submit the remainder of the receipts,” Ramukumba said.

He said Lungisa had been sent a letter for the outstanding expenses he incurred, but no response was received.

Lungisa, who could not be reached yesterday, was quoted in Sunday World denying using the credit card accusation, and claimed to be owed R500 000 for claims he never made.

The report on the abuse of NYDA credit cards comes just days after its CEO, Steven Ngubeni, was sus­pended.

Ngubeni’s suspension followed that of chief operations officer Magdalene Moonsamy and corporate services manager Vincent Mulaudzi earlier this month.

This prompted the DA Youth and IFP Youth Brigade to call for the disbandment of the NYDA and formation of a youth ministry to take care of youth affairs and development ­issues.

DA Youth leader Mbali Ntuli said in a statement that the NYDA was in complete disarray.

“President [Jacob] Zuma should respond by firing the entire NYDA board, disbanding the organisation and re-allocating the money to programmes that will help young people,” Ntuli said.

IFP Youth Brigade national chairperson Mkhuleko Hlengwa said the interests of young of people were being undermined.

Hlengwa said the brigade had called for the establishment of a youth ministry since 1997. “The ­NYDA must be disbanded. Quite frankly, it can’t continue to administer youth development,” he said.

Hlengwa said similar problems were experienced by the NYDA’s predecessors — Umsobomvu Youth Fund and the National Youth Commission.

The youth formations of the ANC, National Freedom Party, Afriforum and PAC could not be reached for comment.

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