NYDA: Tender given to wife’s uncle

2012-03-11 16:00

Johannesburg - National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) boss Steven Ngubeni personally signed off on a R22m catering contract that was awarded to his uncle.

City Press can reveal that the multimillion-rand contract to provide food to the so-called “Kissing Festival” – the controversial World Festival of Students and Youth in December 2010 – was awarded to the company of a police officer from Springs, who is the uncle of Ngubeni’s wife.

After it was brought to his attention, Minister in the Presidency Collins Chabane said he would demand an explanation from the agency board. The NYDA falls under Chabane.

Ngubeni, a former ANC Youth League deputy secretary general, refused to comment.

Ntombezintsha Trading – a company from Springs whose three owners include Musi Zondo, a police officer and the uncle of Ngubeni’s wife, Sarah Kubheka – won the catering tender. Proper tender procedures were not followed.

The company got R6.5m upfront – but was fired only days into the festival when catering arrangements descended into chaos.

On Friday the organisation said if the company included a relative of Ngubeni’s, it was because he did not know about the business interest.

City Press first revealed the contract at the end of last year when a reader alerted us to the fact that the company was linked to Ngubeni.

Advance payments

Documents prove Ngubeni’s intimate involvement in the transaction with Ntombezintsha – including his signature on a contract and the authorisation of millions of rands of advance payments to the company.

These documents and hundreds others were obtained through access to information applications.

A letter issued in Ngubeni’s name, although signed on his behalf, informed Ntombezintsha it had won the deal.

The letter also shows that R6.5m was paid as an advance.

The documents also clearly bear Zondo’s name, address and contact details and show Ngubeni’s approval of a multi-million rand advance payment.

The contract which bears Ngubeni’s signature includes another signature which appear to be the initials “M.Z”
Ntombezintsha was supposed to provide tens of thousands of meals over the 11-day festival.

Earlier this year City Press confronted Ngubeni and Zondo about their relationship, although at the time it wasn’t clear exactly how they were connected.

Zondo dodged the questions and Ngubeni simply ignored them.

Ngubeni and Zondo claimed that the R6.5m was ultimately paid out to a group of about 20 small, local, youth-run catering operations.

Last-minute arrangement

Ngubeni said the agency had no choice but to ignore normal tender requirements after a management company originally hired to organise the festival walked away at the last minute.

The contract shows it was entered into with Ntombezintsha alone, while an invoice from Ntombezintsha shows only two companies and “youth groups” were listed as payees.

Ngubeni claimed he did not know who owned the “youth-run” caterers. He declined to answer any of the questions that were sent to him by City Press.

 “I reserve the right to respond to your questions at an appropriate time and forum, if needs be,” he said.

Zondo refused to say anything about either the tender or his relationship with Ngubeni’s wife and instead threatened to turn to his lawyers. A police spokesperson said they could find no record of Zondo declaring an outside business interest and they were investigating further.

The NYDA said Ngubeni had not been in a position to know if a relative was involved in one of the company’s given a tender.

It said in a statement that the “magnitude of the crisis” caused by the withdrawal of the company it had contracted to organise the festival had meant it had to deviate from normal tender processes and that this was allowed in law.


It had to scramble to hire a company at a time when many were closed for business in December. Ngubeni had to move to Pretoria in the run-up to the festival where he dealt with the paperwork relating to the contracts.

“All documentation, including that of the Ntombezitsha Trading CC-led consortium that the CEO signed from his temporary base in Pretoria purely referred to company names and not to the listings of directors’ names, and as such the CEO could not have been in a position to know who the directors are/were on signing contracts related to the Youth Festival.

“Given that the owner of the company is a distant relative of the CEO’s wife as you allege, there can be no reasonable expectation that he would know his business activities,” it said.

It said some of the documents had been signed by the acting chief financial officer, as the organisation’s policies allowed.

But late on Saturday, NYDA board chairperson Andile Lungisa suddenly called to say that Ngubeni had noticed a potential conflict of interest days before the contract was awarded to Ntombezintsha and had alerted him to it.

Lungisa claimed a note had been made of this. Neither Ngubeni nor the board provided City Press with a copy of his alleged declaration as requested earlier in the week.

David Lewis, executive director of Corruption Watch, said that “even the appearance of an interest conflict in awarding a government contract should not be countenanced, particularly in an environment in which actual conflicts have become so commonplace and where, as a result, there is so little trust of government’s procurement procedures".

  • Grant - 2012-03-11 11:34

    no wonder the NYDA wanted more money in the budget

      Spyker - 2012-03-11 16:42

      This is why we need the Protection of State Information Bill. We cannot allow the media to interfere with the efficiency of the regime enriching themselves, their cronies and their families.

      JohncarlosBiza - 2012-03-11 16:55

      It's sad to see the NYDA abused like this. It is such a great project and their website can help any young/aspiring entrepreneur in any field. Trust the ANC to deliver half-baked goods.

      richard.hipkin - 2012-03-12 10:12

      Well considering the NYDA is made up of ANCYL members does this surprise you?

  • Louise - 2012-03-11 12:09

    Catering company of a POLICE OFFICER ????? I read it twice, but yes, it says "awarded to the catering company of a police officer from Springs" !!!!! Do they have OWN companies these days? And what takes priority: fighting crime or running the own company?

      Richard - 2012-03-11 16:25


      Dirk - 2012-03-11 17:04

      Can you imagine the orgy of corruption which will take place with the borrowing and spending of between Rand 800-900 "on infrastructure". This could just break the camels back.

      Dirk - 2012-03-11 17:05

      Should read: R800-900 BILLION

      Juan - 2012-03-11 17:19


      Cracker - 2012-03-11 18:41

      The minister of police and the previous and current commissioner of police should also be approached for their comments. A police officer running a private company? What is being done about it? How is it possible that it can even occur? The forfeiture unit should have a field day. If it means that even pensions must be taken from corrupt police and state employees as a penalty it should be done. The pension benefits of the police officer increased while he continued to enjoy employment which he should not have had because of his private interests. Take that pension away as well and stop being so forgiving of the BS and self-enrichment. The situation in this country is now way beyond amusing.

      Jacques - 2012-03-12 10:28

      The sad thing being, a few years ago you'd have laughed at this... oh my word. I can just imagine a cop pulling you over at the side of the road to check your licence and then he slips you a business card ''Piet's Catering- weddings funerals 21sts- contact Susanna 082...'' ''Everything in order, officer?'' ''Uhh, well, ja-no boet just eh... you never know hey, might need a caterer..'' ''Indeed, may I have my licence?''

  • Sinudeity - 2012-03-11 16:22

    No surprises here. Corruption is the norm, in any ANC related government entity.

      Balan - 2012-03-11 16:46

      @Sinudeity, yeah man its African National Corruption

  • Tony Lapson - 2012-03-11 16:24

    Waiting for vegi to pop up here explaining how apartheid and imperialism caused this to happen.

      Geronimo - 2012-03-11 16:35


      Balan - 2012-03-11 16:48

      vegi is rotting in the basket

      Tony - 2012-03-11 20:29

      Trying to get his wheel chair out of the microwave?

  • Kevin - 2012-03-11 16:26

    Thugs- Cancel it

      Anthony - 2012-03-11 17:38

      isnt it a disgrace --just in this week [what we know of ] we have--- gerald majoleof CSA the deputy presidents pomp -gugu and now the youth agency all members of the ANC arnt these people an embaressment and a disgrace to humanity and the country are any of them honest what u say vegi

  • Simnikiwe - 2012-03-11 16:33

    Nepotism is unethical, but I would have done exactly the same thing if I was in Ngubeni's shoes. Award the tender to a "relative"...then demand a huge cut in the deal. Win-win.

      pws69 - 2012-03-11 18:33

      Yup, and I am betting those poor people living in Diepsloot are also very happy that they "won" by having over R110 MILLION removed from the budget for their upliftment. But it is all good. You get the government you vote for.

  • Dennis - 2012-03-11 16:34

    Nothing new here .... kinda getting boring with corruption now being the anc norm !!

      Vegi - 2012-03-11 16:44

      Where does the ANC feature in this tender. Will it be fair if I blame the DA for the Skierlik shootings, please reply.

      Juan - 2012-03-11 17:25

      Steven Ngubeni is an ANC member deployee is he not?

      Sedick - 2012-03-11 17:44

      @ Vegi. Let me spell it out for you as you seem to vegetating. The ANC appointed the NYDA board including the idiot chairman, they appointed the (NYDA) boss Steven Ngubeni, they are involved in Billions of Rands of corruption, they have the Arms Corruption, Oilgate, ESKOM Tenders, Sanral Tenders, Zuma, Yengeni, Cele, Cwele, Boesak, Modise, Selebi, Similane, so many, that one forgets their names, and all the Corrupt Deals......

  • Geronimo - 2012-03-11 16:34

    Fire him.

      Adam - 2012-03-13 00:07

      He probably already retired in Knysna.

  • Morama - 2012-03-11 16:37

    All catering companies are like that.I know of Blade Nzimande's sister which is milking it. That woman is rich!! It's now high time that Da supporters move swiftly to rural areas which is anc's strong holds to make the people aware of what this anc and it's alliance members are doing.This corruption watch would crash soon.Watch this space!!!

  • Daan - 2012-03-11 16:38

    rotten to the core....!

  • Vegi - 2012-03-11 16:41

    How is this related to the ANC. Very soon people will blame the ANC for the weather and all other unpleasant situations nature throws at us. Please condemn the act of corruption but leave the ANC out of it, unless you have documentary proof of an ANC decision to swindle the NYDA.

      Gerhard - 2012-03-11 16:53

      The ANC is slack fighting corruption. Weg met hulle!

      Ken - 2012-03-11 17:11

      ANC can only afford a few Rand extra pension for the elderly, but will authorize millions for an event that benefited the few. When they are not being corrupt, they are just plain stupid. But then again Vegi you appear to care more about politics than uplifting people. How many children went to sleep hungry last night. Why wan't the money spent on soup kitchens?

      Keith Cebokhulu Ngobeni - 2012-03-11 17:19

      Vegetables, your ignorance will blind you until you start wearing trousers with patches all over them, one does not need a sangoma or prophets to know that the ANC members are corrupt and promoting nepotism and unequal society to our country.

      Juan - 2012-03-11 17:26

      No veggie just corruption and maladministration.

      Sedick - 2012-03-11 17:45

      @ Vegi. Let me spell it out for you as you seem to vegetating. The ANC appointed the NYDA board including the idiot chairman, they appointed the (NYDA) boss Steven Ngubeni, they are involved in Billions of Rands of corruption, they have the Arms Corruption, Oilgate, ESKOM Tenders, Sanral Tenders, Zuma, Yengeni, Cele, Cwele, Boesak, Modise, Selebi, Similane, so many, that one forgets their names, and all the Corrupt Deals......

      Adam - 2012-03-13 00:09

      Sometimes proof is not needed. Did he serve Vegi and gravy, or was the gravy skimmed off?

  • Paul - 2012-03-11 16:48

    Bow your heads in shame ANC!!! The corruption monster is consuming you faster than even the far right groups predicted. Now the right wing is telling the moderates “ see, we told you so”. This one is still smoking and now the Gugu Mtshali bomb is exploding. Yes , we know, its apartheids fault. I keep telling my brothers that but I am running out of real excuses!

  • Wendy - 2012-03-11 17:02

    they may as well investigate every single tender .. and they will be found to have all given tenders to family or friends or companies they are involved in ..

  • Marz Smith - 2012-03-11 17:05

    good. Finaly we are hearing more and more of probes into government officials. I think we will see allot more of this. Big changes need to take place in the African Natoinal Congress

  • Tony - 2012-03-11 17:06

    Oh, the usual.... Nepotism, xenophobia, corruption, Pseudologia fantastica, incest and all the rest that goes with being an elite member of the ANC ... After all, the NYDA is nothing more than an extension of the ANCYL.

  • SALife - 2012-03-11 17:12

    I am seeing a thief everytime I see a politician. They all have an entilement attitude? Now even Mothlante? I actaully thought he was quite a good guy? Julius is looking quite quite good from where I stand. How does one vote these days? For the one who stole the most and got away with it?

  • Thokozane - 2012-03-11 17:14

    The manifesto should have read: Together We can do more... corruption.

      Morne - 2012-03-11 17:37

      Actually together we can steal more....

      Juan - 2012-03-11 19:51

      YES WE CAN ...

  • Comrade - 2012-03-11 17:17


  • raymond.kok3 - 2012-03-11 17:20

    klomp skelms,skurke,rampokkers ek hoop hulle betaal terug

  • Genet - 2012-03-11 17:23

    Wasn't money given to them by Lotto for this. And so many charities desperate for funds. I do hope heads roll for this.

      Morama - 2012-03-11 17:58

      The heads don't roll in the anc gravy train,they just change the culprit to the other department.there's alot we know of.

  • chris.khanye - 2012-03-11 17:42

    Public purse simply a family business to some!

  • schrickker - 2012-03-11 18:01

    that could be the wages of 400 low income earners for a year,

  • John - 2012-03-11 18:08

    Did he own a catering company 6 months prior to the festival.... I think not. The government and there side kicks..... Where you Vegi??? Going to blame it on apartheid and land reform??

  • Blane - 2012-03-11 18:11


  • Johnson - 2012-03-11 18:15

    why are we not surprised - this is an ANC tendency and it will never stop

  • Mark - 2012-03-11 18:30

    Will these parasites ever learn that it's not their money to start with? Perhaps if corruption was legislated as a capital offense then it would stop - after all it is a crime against the people of SA when our money is used for their nefarious purposed. Of course we'd then have very few cadres available for public office, hmm maybe not such a bad idea after all. Can anybody imagine how much of this is really going on that doesn't come to light, and how much more will if the info bill is strictly applied?

      pws69 - 2012-03-11 18:43

      But my calculations based on only what is reported in the newspapers, over R2,5 TRILLION has either been stolen or wasted by the ANC since 1994. Eskom alone accounts for over R1 Trillion of this, through massive corruption and incompetence.

  • pws69 - 2012-03-11 18:31

    "“All documentation, including that of the Ntombezitsha Trading CC-led consortium that the CEO signed from his temporary base in Pretoria purely referred to company names and not to the listings of directors’ names, and as such the CEO could not have been in a position to know who the directors are/were on signing contracts related to the Youth Festival. “Given that the owner of the company is a distant relative of the CEO’s wife as you allege, there can be no reasonable expectation that he would know his business activities,” it said." Yup, and all sane people with half a brain know this is a lie of epic proportions. Sadly, not ONE ANCYL member will doubt it, and these cretins have the same vote that I do, but there are more of them. I rue the days (6 times) that I turned down unsolicited international job offers because I believed this country had a future. The last elections provided the final nail in the coffin of my optimism.

  • Sidney - 2012-03-11 19:05

    Reading this and other stories about the rampant corruption makes me question the common belief that the old national party was more corrupt than this current crop of crooks running the country.

      Cracker - 2012-03-11 19:32

      We need an honest re-assessment of what really took place.

  • Fanie - 2012-03-11 19:08


      Hein Helmand - 2012-03-11 22:51


  • Wayne - 2012-03-11 19:21

    Streetwise 2's all round! Oh, and look, we have R12m left...

      Tony - 2012-03-11 20:30

      Man that's funny broo .... But sadly true.

  • Christopher - 2012-03-11 20:03

    Gets a slice of the pie you see. What better way of making money off of the system. Give it to your wife's uncle & still make some money off it.

  • Eric Mdudus Shaku - 2012-03-11 20:16

    i alwys wonder how people become millionaires in Gauteng,mpumalanga and corruption province ,2mro morning i am going cipro to open close corperation then i will be one.

  • Patsy - 2012-03-11 22:13

    No wonder they're trying to gag the press!!! Too many crooks getting shown up.

  • Hein Helmand - 2012-03-11 22:47

    Good is good,its nice

  • mmakgaboe - 2012-03-12 06:53

    If only we had a fit alternative to take over the ruling party ... its just so tragic what the anc and anything they touch turns into

  • Lwando Zondwa-Ziintshaba Poni - 2012-03-12 06:55

    I said this before, I love the ANC with all my heart but come 2014 I'm voting DA. I'm tired of this nonsense.

      Nigel - 2012-03-12 08:40

      Lwando, will help make SA a better place, the ONLY time that we will make SA a success is when we all realize that black & whites are not the enemy, corruption, greed, racsim & intolerance is. We need each other more than we realize.

  • pws69 - 2012-03-12 07:03

    So, did they get the R6,5 million back? If not, how could the Lotto Board not find anything untoward in their audit? Perhaps they chose not to look very hard. I betting the "audit" consisted of a 30 minute discussion over JW Blue.

      Susan - 2012-03-12 09:10

      That's because the Lotto Board is corrupt as well.

  • Hangwani - 2012-03-12 08:02

    Rotten to the core.....that;s sheet

  • Susan - 2012-03-12 08:59

    What is the name of the company that withdrew at the last minute??

  • Maliganpa - 2012-03-12 11:26

    In light of the fact that corruption seem to be so sporadic I suggest that all the provinces should hold an Indaba to sort out these coomon conferences. they must share the ideas , areas of succes strategies which may be put in place to curb the scurge. They must also emerge from such Indaba with a resolution to have reconciliation board where amnesity should be given moving forward....

  • reza.daniels1 - 2012-03-12 11:55

    Eish.....comrades. The gravy is very expensive.....they voted for us so they must shut and pay. Do not spread disunity in the organization.....your uncle will get his chance.

  • Hugh - 2012-03-12 12:04

    The African Youth, thats how we roll.

  • billidp - 2012-03-12 13:01

    The NYDA is as useless as the ANCYL and its mother body - Corruption is what they do best!!!

  • sean.dube3 - 2012-05-31 10:55

    Dis ruling party its really riding in a gravy train

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