Rape, murder convictions will not disqualify NYDA board candidates

Cape Town – A conviction of rape, murder or assault would not stand in the way of a candidate making it onto the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) board, according to section 10 of the NYDA Act.

However, a conviction for theft, fraud, forgery, perjury or any offence involving dishonesty would lead to disqualification from the process. But only if the candidate had been sentenced without an option of a fine or fined more than the prescribed amount.

The NYDA ad hoc committee on Tuesday discussed the grounds of disqualifying candidates from the process.

This follows revelations of a criminal record and adverse credit records for some of the candidates who were interviewed for the seven positions available on the board.

“Not all criminal offences will require a candidate to be disqualified. The disqualification is strictly limited to offences listed in section 10 and would not, by way of example, include other offences such as assault, rape or murder.

“Furthermore, it is not sufficient that a person has been found guilty of a listed office,” according to a legal document presented to the committee on Tuesday. 

No disqualifications

Effectively, none of the 13 candidates would be disqualified based on their records as their "infractions" were not listed under section 10 and the committee is expected to deliberate on the candidates before settling on the final seven.

One candidate, Zandile Myeni, had to explain her assault-related criminal record during the interview process.

She was now in the process of appealing the conviction, committee co-chairperson Philemon Mapulane said on Tuesday.

Mapulane said the other four candidates who had adverse credit records had sent explanations to the committee, including settlement letters.

“This means, for example, that a convicted rapist can serve on the committee. All these candidates cannot be excluded according to section 10 of the NYDA,” Mapulane said while explaining what the legal opinion meant.

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