Youth agency spent R106m on party

2011-10-09 10:36

Johannesburg - R100 000 for balloons, R60 0000 for confetti and R90 000 for a headstone. 

These are some of the exorbitant payments made by the National Youth Development Agency - a government agency tasked with creating jobs for the youth - to politically connected businesspeople and artists for last December’s World Festival of Youth and Students.

Shocking evidence of the agency’s excessive spending on the R106m party has been revealed for the first time in hundreds of pages of documents. These were obtained by Media24 Investigations after a 10-month legal battle using access to information legislation.

The documents reveal that:
- A company owned by “kwaito king” Arthur Mafokate was paid R5.3m for providing entertainment, including expensive balloons and confetti;

- A company owned by Mafikozolo band manager Julius Mekwa received a contract worth almost R9m for managing the opening and closing ceremonies;

- Bitline SA, a company owned by ANC Youth League president Julius Malema’s well-known business associate Ali Boshielo, scored more than R1m for providing bags, T-shirts and other paraphernalia; and

- A company owned by a Springs police officer won a R21.7m tender to provide catering and was paid R6.5m upfront before the tender was cancelled.

Court order

Last week, the agency, which is dominated by youth league supporters and former office bearers, handed over invoices, payment details and contracts following an agreement which was made a court order.

The so-called “kissing festival”, funded through a R40m grant from the National Lotteries Board and R29m from the Presidency, among others, has been the focus of ongoing controversy and is also the subject of an investigation by Public Protector Thuli Madonsela.

The documents show questionable payments to politically linked individuals or entities and how millions were spent on items like bottled water, T-shirts and other merchandise.

In one case, a construction company was paid more than R2m to provide posters, banners, T-shirts and volunteers with loud-hailers.

Approached for comment this week, those who received the contracts either defended them as having been won in fair tender processes or ignored requests to comment. The documents provided to City Press do not contain any evidence of tenders which may have been issued although the access to information request asked for the specifications of the contracts. 

Paid before delivery

The documents also show that only a few companies appear to have provided basic supporting documents - such as tax clearance certificates - which are standard in state tender deals.

Many were paid large portions of the contract value on acceptance of the invoice, with services still to be provided.

The youth agency’s chief executive, Steve Ngubeni - who is a former deputy secretary-general of the ANC Youth League - conceded in an interview this week that proper procedures had not been followed in all cases, but defended the agency’s conduct in spending the R106m.

The festival, which was attended by thousands of young people from across the world, was derided as an organisational catastrophe as speakers failed to attend, seminars were cancelled and logistical problems snowballed.

Headlines recorded how delegates played kissing games in the sun as they waited for something to happen.

Last week, the agency only highlighted the fact that it received an unqualified audit opinion from the Auditor-General (AG), ignoring the matters of emphasis relating to the festival and its own operational spending. Ngubeni said the agency had hoped to lay the controversy over the festival “to rest”.

Irregular spending

The AG noted at least R26m of irregular expenditure relating to the festival and highlighted other problems such as normal tender procedures not being adhered to.

Events co-ordinator Farah Fortune was flabbergasted by the costs of the event. “Somebody is being ripped off by somebody somewhere,” she said.

She did not spend “anywhere near these amounts” when she co-ordinated the wedding for President Jacob Zuma’s daughter Duduzile. 

“What did they feed the youth, caviar?” she asked. 

  • Grayman - 2011-10-09 10:41

    They say a fool and his money are soon parted. Pity that the fools are using our money!

      Stir Monger - 2011-10-09 11:14

      Remember the SA public are the fools for paying the Maaifoedies in the first place. - 2011-10-10 09:24

      Apparently "a fool and his money are soon Partying"...

      Wired - 2011-10-10 13:05

      I called a few balloon companies... for a single balloon with 3 colour printing, its about R1,60 a balloon.. Thats 62500 balloons.. did they even have that many? And if they did, why did they have to have 62500 balloons? Granted, they would need helium, and they would probably only have 40000 balloons but this is just stupid..

      Werner - 2011-10-10 13:57

      "The festival, which was attended by thousands of young people from across the world, was derided as an organisational catastrophe as speakers failed to attend, seminars were cancelled and logistical problems snowballed." Ja-nee...are we surprised?

  • Murdoc - 2011-10-09 10:43

    damm, i only need 400k to start a company, and hire 20 employee's

      Gilven - 2011-10-09 11:17

      Just think what kind of opportunity you can create with R106m then.

      Krush - 2011-10-09 19:47

      That's a bit of a stretch but the idea is right.

  • gazelle - 2011-10-09 10:52


  • Andries Pretorius - 2011-10-09 10:56

    Dubula iMaaifoedie!

  • twolips - 2011-10-09 10:59

    What did we expect? They learned from their elders.

  • Cynic - 2011-10-09 11:00

    Yeah right and so the masses must starve, live in abject poverty have no chance whatsoever at a decent life yet will always votela ANC.

      Tuinman - 2011-10-09 11:06

      Exactly, but that is the African way. Just a pity they are pulling the whole country down with them.

  • Happytoliveabroad - 2011-10-09 11:02

    We know this is the case, I am not sure why this makes news even anymore, there is no shock or surprise. Two weeks ago I was in SA visiting my offices in both JHB and CT and must admit that things are a lot more positive when interacting with the average person compared to the drivel often on this site. I get the feeling that people know its there, the crime, the stealing, the looting of national coffers and and and, but most people are just getting on with it, it is probably not a good thing. The fact of the matter is that none of this wasting and stealing is News anymore- is this the idea though ANC? That you bombard SA with so much of it that eventually it appears on page 20 of the paper and then, like crime, not even make it in to the news? Is the rest of South Africa in denial or just with their heads in their @sses? Things wont change until a party comes into power that looks to the future and not the past. be mindful of the past to make sure you dont repeat it you............

      leonard - 2011-10-09 11:16

      @Happy.....My resume.White,male,60+,not enough money to leave,very worried about the future of SA etc etc etc.You are "safe and immune"from what we know is coming(see the rest of Africa)and you presume to have the answers to our massive problems.I could go on and on but I rest my case.

      ex-pat - 2011-10-09 17:36

      Leonard, people like you and Buffalo really annoy me. His opening sentence is offensive and short-sighted. South Africa DOES need the objective view of those who have left. There is nothing like living in a country where things work, to truly understand the mess SA is in. And at the risk of being boringly repetitive, may I say once again that we may have left, but we do still worry about our friends and families left behind. Do you seriously want us to leave you to sink into the mire without warning you about what we can see from our vantage points? Your "resume" explains why you're jealous of those of us who have been able to leave, but Happytoliveabroad merely made sensible comments, NOT claiming he had the answer, but paying tribute to the people in SA who are coping within the system, and rightly pointing out that this is not necessarily a good thing. The ANC needs to be confronted, but South Africans by their very nature are not inclined this way. This is one of the reasons the Nats lasted as long as they did - it was an apathetic shrug of 'what can WE do?', along with the fear they instilled in everyone. Don't make the same mistake twice, people! And he makes a valid point about citizens becoming inured to what's wrong, by it being so common. If your parent keeps hitting you for every little thing, after a while you believe that is normal behaviour, and that he has the right to do so. No! It isn't!

      leonard - 2011-10-09 22:15

      @Ex-pat.....Excuse me for having the balls to voice an opinion.Please show me at which point I proclaim to be jealous of those clever or wise enough to have left the sinking ship.You expat, annoy the hell out of me.If you are so worried about those left "behind"why are you not lobbying the government of your adoptive country to speak out against what is happening in this,the "old"country.Keep abreast of the true nature of the beast(the anc)and you will realise what the populace is up against.Juxtaposition South Africa with the rest of Africa to see what awaits us.In conclusion,do something positive for SA,lobby where you are.Oh and shalom to you.

      leonard - 2011-10-09 22:32

      @ex-pat,,,,,Your post under article Motlanthe-change agent refers.You sing a very different tune in what you wrote there.So my friend,are you, or are you not in SA.Your post shows as much passion as I do about things that are wrong in this country and yet you choose to chastise me and others like me.If you are indeed not here,mind your own business since you are not in the line of fire so to speak.Rather do something positive and lobby help from your adoptive country to confront the abuses taking place here.Again,shalom to you.

      Werner - 2011-10-10 14:21

      I am not an expat but I fully understand the 'trap' we are slowly falling into; as South Africans we always seem to try and cultivate a positive attitde, a (false) sense of hope and belief. The truth of the matter is that we are slowly drowning. "The truth is that corruption is now so prevalent that South Africans have lost their capacity to be shocked by it." -

      Alpahbrutus - 2011-10-10 14:42

      @Happytoliveabroad and ex-pat You left the country so your opinion no longer counts. We all KNOW how much better civilised countries are. You have no place telling the people still living in SA how they should feel or how useless they are because they moan at their predicament. That's all they have. There are thousands who would leave tomorrow if they could but they just cannot. You are just arrogant parasites lying low in other countries while waiting for those that stayed behind to clean up the mess so you can come back and enjoy the fruits of the country again. And if the country goes down the toilet, hey, you're okay right? If you are so concerned, why not come back and be part of the solution. Interesting that Happytoliveabroad is still making money in SA, but just doesn't want the inconvenience of living here. There is no shame in leaving the country, but if you do, don't preach to those left behind. It is insulting.

  • K Man - 2011-10-09 11:03

    savage mentality...

  • Ronnie Jacobs - 2011-10-09 11:05


  • Dal68 - 2011-10-09 11:05

    The anc andbtheir criminal young just want to destroy the country through theft!!!! Bancrupt the country and get over with it you commie scum......then we can start rebuilding it again for ourselves this time!

  • Kate - 2011-10-09 11:09

    Oh come on News24. Why kick us when we are already down? This is a day of mourning.

      sipholess - 2011-10-09 11:57

      Agreed Kate....Sunday roast and a box or two of stella artois, then plan how to assassinate Bryce Lawrence.

  • call a spade - 2011-10-09 11:12

    They reckon it is white money and whites have an indepletable supply so why not waste it. Black people in general still not understand the workings of a first world economy. It is beyond capacity.

      EnglishBoer - 2011-10-09 11:22

      Eish I em so hungrie maai-foed-ies fineeshed haibo...

  • nuvolari - 2011-10-09 11:13

    *facepalm* WTF!!!!?

  • sniperman - 2011-10-09 11:15

    I trust there was a lot of condomless shagging going on. That would at least be a beneficial spin off.

      Johan - 2011-10-10 13:52

      Maybe they used the balloons as condoms.....

  • Superdude - 2011-10-09 11:18

    Ha ha, great morning reading this - global economy is entering its worst recession ever, but this lot do not have a clue.

      Dal68 - 2011-10-09 11:24

      There is nothing dumber, more illeterate and useless in the world than an anc or ancyl supporter.

  • Vela Stardust - 2011-10-09 11:25

    Why worry, it's only tax payers money! To hell with uplifting the poor!

  • Levett - 2011-10-09 11:31

    The ANC is more reckless than a cougar with a credit card in Menlyn mall

  • Ralph2 - 2011-10-09 11:34

    When are the poor going to wake up and see that under this maaifoedie ANC government they don't stand a chance. The people in power do not care about YOU!!! As long as they can spend it on themselves and put it in their own pockets you don't count. The only time you are of any value to them is at election time. The more you vote for them the more money you give them to spend on themselves.Come on people so far and no further. You owe them nothing!!!!!DON"T VOTE ANC ANYMORE UNLESS YOU WANT TO STAY POOR.

      Voidy - 2011-10-10 16:07

      The poor are not reading this comments, they haven't got a place to s*it, nevermind a computer, and the ANC would like to keep it that way so that they can brainwash them.

  • Johann - 2011-10-09 11:34

    And when the money runs out we can blame apartheid or colonialism ,maaifoedie thinking!

  • gANCsta - 2011-10-09 11:41

    Andile Lungisa (Executive Chairperson) of the NYDA is considered more 'dangerous' than Malema! See attached link to article.

  • BnQE - 2011-10-09 11:41

    You should all be ...

  • Herman - 2011-10-09 11:43

    They learn from the Government to waste money. Nothing strange!

  • Val Chilcott - 2011-10-09 11:49

    How many hungry people would that have fed??? Balloons instead of food? Disgusting!!!!!

  • crythybelovedcountry - 2011-10-09 11:53

    Using tax money without proper procedures being followed amounts to fraud. That is why we have procedures. Now why is nobody being charged and why is nobody paying back what is not theirs to have in the first place? This money belongs to us, the country and we should lay charges of theft and corruption otherwise this will never stop.

  • $Sign - 2011-10-09 11:55

    Bunch of alcoholic buffoons.

  • Twoplusthree - 2011-10-09 11:56

    S I E S!

  • Man can do - 2011-10-09 11:59

    A person dying from hunger could have been saved with the R106 million. The NYDA, ANC, ANCYL, tenderpreneurs and all others who participate should realise their waste could save lives. The practice of taking what you can at any cost is ruining our country fast. Education of the masses is crucial in bringing about change. They haven't got Internet, or can afford newspapers, so other options of education need to be implemented by the opposition parties.

  • kilo39 - 2011-10-09 12:00

    It is quite obvious that the youth in 'Naaidaar' and ANCYL have absolutely no respect for the big people of this country. This extravagance is obscene given what the poor, homeless and jobless are faced with every single day. I blame central government and the lotteries board for fueling this wanton and debauched expenditure. I for one will support neither and urge more likeminded safricans to do the same. SARS too must pursue 'service providers' or face the wrath of 'tax clear' companies and individuals.

  • - 2011-10-09 12:03

    And then we carry on having to listen to how the apartheid is to blame for the poverty levels and how not enough upliftment is being done and to many whites still in their positions. It is not the man in the street, but our Government officials that steal the money and keep their power by propagating negative talk and creating division. As they say, divide and conquer. If we had to know the true number of monies already lost, spent, stolen, corrupted away in the last decade I think we will all be truly stunned. Yet we have to listen every day how there is not enough money and how more money needs to be generated by increasing Government borrowing, new taxes, tolls and every other conceivable avenue to generate cash and at whose expense. The very people who were meant to be uplifted and the ones that truly want to see them uplifted. The Government clearly cares little about upliftment. Those masses are just tools to keep them in power.

  • Mark Crozier - 2011-10-09 12:09

    Woohoo! Free for all, let's rip the a-hole out of it and steal as much as we can carry while the going is good. Looting is the only word that can accurately describe it.

  • crythybelovedcountry - 2011-10-09 12:12

    This greed is not unique to the ANC and all its affiliates. This is why we have events, demonstrations and uprisings like the Arab spring and the Occupy movements. Its time to wrestle the power away from the politicians and companies, apply the law as it was supposed to be applied and have enforce total transparency. Every person or entity using tax-payers money must be open to scrutiny, was the money spent wisely, was the value realised. If not, blacklist the person or entity or apply the law. Tarring and feathering works!

  • Antwahn - 2011-10-09 12:18

    The contempt the maaifoedie govt. deserves for allowing this, is great. As far as the juvenile simians themselves concerned, ag they cannot help themselves -so much money, so little brains and morality. Tough for the electorate who allows this to perpetuate -but they have all their misery coming. As I refuse to cry about this stuff, I laugh -also at you!

  • Craig Louw - 2011-10-09 12:21

    So what happened to the "clean audit" they got? Lying sacks of excrement. Who ever game them a clean audit should be investigated for corruption.

  • gatvol4corru - 2011-10-09 12:21

    Fatcats -- ANC starts breading the corrupt-incompetent-lazy at a young age! Jacob has sowed the seeds of destruction very well! F8king pathetic 3rd world mentality! No wonder Africa & SA is the joke of the world. Africa is a dark hole where money and resources dissapears into the hands of the dictators and mentally unstable corrupt

  • Craig Louw - 2011-10-09 12:24

    The auditor general and Steven ngubeni should be investigated. Liars!!!!! Bet you money exchanged hands somewhere along the lines.

  • dithala - 2011-10-09 12:28

    They stimulated the economy, didn't they? hotels got fully booked etc.

      Spetnaz - 2011-10-09 12:51

      go stimulate your mind and think about what you just said....Maaifoedie

      Bart Zimzon - 2011-10-09 13:19

      yeah, there was more stimulated then the economy....

      gaharaa - 2011-10-09 20:05

      Only stupid people defend fools.

      Lab-Rat - 2011-10-10 08:32

      Heh, please tell me that you're joking.

  • Alan - 2011-10-09 12:35

    I have a proud anti apartheid track record, but let me say this..... No white electorate would ever let a white political party and white government get away with what the ANC et al are allowed to get away with.

      hadedah - 2011-10-09 16:51

      Well said Alan

  • tyronemichael - 2011-10-09 12:52

    I would feel nothing but satisfaction to see everyone of these animals burn in hell. Spending this amount of money on a party while 3/4 of the country is starving to death, is the definition of Genocide!

      Ulindi - 2011-10-10 12:43

      ...and burn in hell they shall!

  • KarinWalker - 2011-10-09 13:24

    They are like stupid children! This is OUR tax money that they are throwing away and handing over to their businessmen comrades!! R100 000 for balloons that probably could have been bought for R100! NO PROBLEM! R90 000 for confetti! No problem!! They are either too stupid/lazy to cost these things properly or just damn criminals who want to hand large chunks of dosh to their friends without bothering about things like invoices/receipts/project management/satisfactory delivery of services etc etc! These fools must be stopped!

  • Julius - 2011-10-09 13:28

    And who were the guests, the Communist / Socialist Youths( thugs) of the World's FAILD STATES. As usual F the poor

  • Ian - 2011-10-09 13:48

    rap crap and balloons and confetti, sure it wasent condoms and crack

  • 50something - 2011-10-09 13:50

    ... and how much did Malema himself cashed in on this orgy?

      leonard - 2011-10-09 15:16

      @50....One brand new house being built.You know the value !!!!

  • Boxxer - 2011-10-09 14:12

    Another failed African state in the making. Won't be long before food parcles are gonna fall from the sky.

  • Freddie - 2011-10-09 14:17

    Guys, I never thought my tax money would be spent on this. Let's start an anti-tax campaign if this continues!

  • Shorts1 - 2011-10-09 14:18

    Absolutely disgusting!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Peeved - 2011-10-09 14:35

    The day shall soon come and justice shall be swift, enjoy wasting our money, and to the Lotto bastards....... its a travesty to take money earmarked for the needy and squander it on ANC sanctioned events hope they lock the bunch of you up you thieving bastards. R40m grant from the National Lotteries Board well i suppose if another million or two needy people go hungry or without shelter who cares, its time the Lottery board start explaining and be held criminally liable for non-charitable grants, and stop being a cash cow for the ANC, and yes we know Winnie has a lotto cheque book too to entertain her cronies, I vote give us all one just to be fair. i hope all those who profited by this meet a painful end soon.

  • alexandra.nett - 2011-10-09 14:35


      Ian - 2011-10-09 14:53

      50 billion %

  • mark59 - 2011-10-09 16:10

    welcome to the new SA..this is how things are going to be. Good luck to all..

  • anthony.everson1 - 2011-10-09 17:33

    Wonder how much the ANC will pocket out of this?

  • Winsome - 2011-10-09 18:04

    R106m. Let's see how they explain this away. Will make for interesting reading.

      Werner - 2011-10-10 18:24

      The really sad part of this is that it will quietly fade away. I was thinking just the other day of Zuma's bag of crimes - the rape allegations, arms deal inquiries, etc., and the man walks free as president of the country. This is Africa...corruption-rife criminal-infested disease-ridden Africa.

      James - 2011-10-11 10:51

      easy - its because of the old regime