Controversial NYDA candidates' list sent back to parly committee

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ANC chief whip Pemmy Majodina.
ANC chief whip Pemmy Majodina.
(Jan Gerber, News24)
  • The National Assembly has halted the appointment of candidates to serve on the National Youth Development Agency board.
  • It sent the report back to the portfolio committee on women, youth and persons with disabilities for further scrutiny.
  • Several parties in the National Assembly supported the move.

Candidates for the board of the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) will have to wait a little longer before being officially appointed.

This followed the National Assembly's move on Thursday to send back a report recommending the candidates to serve on the NYDA board to the portfolio committee on women, youth and persons with disabilities for further scrutiny.

The selection process had been mired in controversy after a letter, written by ANC National Youth Task Team (NYTT) convener Tandi Mahambehlala to the ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte, surfaced, which provided the names of "preferred candidates".

The letter stated: "The ANCY NYTT convened all PYA structures with regards to its preferred candidates for the new NYDA board. The structures agreed on the need for continuity with regards to the composition of the board, therefore reaffirming the names of Sifiso Mtsweni and Joy Maimela."

Four names included in the letter ultimately made it on to the final recommended list: Mtsweni, Thuthikile Zuma, Karabo Mohale and Avela Mjujabana.

READ |Jacob Zuma's daughter Thuthukile among 7 NYDA board candidates

ANC chief whip Pemmy Majodina moved that the report be sent back to the committee for further scrutiny.

Before the House could vote on Majodina's proposed motion, the Freedom Front Plus wanted to declare its position on the report.

FF MP Tamarin Breedt said the NYDA was nothing "but an expansion of the ANC".

"Even more aptly put, an ANC Youth League branch... it's just another talkshop that they can fill with their cadres' kids to ensure the life of luxury these children have become accustomed to is maintained.

"According to the report, the portfolio committee is confident that all candidates recommended for the appointment have an understanding of the NYDA's mandate and this statement is 100% true and most probably the only part I can agree with... the mandate is nothing else but a partisan agenda of the ANC," Breedt said.

READ ALSO | Ramaphosa promises to unveil details of bold plan for SA's jobless youth

DA MP and youth leader Luyolo Mphithi said the NYDA board recommendations was an "ANC-sponsored cadre deployment scam".

"This suspicion was all but confirmed in a letter seen by the DA that ANC National Youth Task Team (NYTT) convener, Tandi Mahambehlala, sent to the ANC deputy secretary-general, Jessie Duarte, three months ago where she listed the Progressive Youth Alliance's (PYA) preferred candidates for the NYDA board.

"The portfolio committee is not a rubber-stamping committee. The DA does not believe that the composition of the board is based on merit. It is for this reason that we will again object to the NYDA board recommendations when the matter is debated and voted on in the National Assembly," he said.

In August, the SA Youth Chamber of Commerce wrote to President Cyril Ramaphosa and requested that he intervene in the matter after several shortlisted candidates were found to have close links to the ANC.

An overwhelming number of MPs supported the motion to send the report back, with 278 voting in favour and 11 against it.


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