Former NYDA boss Andile Lungisa File photo: Bongiwe Mchunu

Johannesburg -

The arrest of former ANC Youth League deputy president on Friday could scupper any chances of his returning to the league leadership.

Andile Lungisa, also the former chairman of the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA), was arrested with three others by the Hawks in connection with the R2.5 million the Arts and Culture Department coughed up in the belief that it was securing the appearance of US R&B singer R Kelly at the Nelson Mandela Sports Day concert earlier this year. It later emerged that R Kelly’s management had never been contacted about the gig.

At the time, it was alleged the money had been paid into Lungisa’s account.

Lungisa, Thabo Shogolo, Xolisile Guquza and Ursula Sali are accused of fraud.

Lungisa and Shogolo were granted bail of R10 000 each, while Guquza was released on R5 000 bail and Sali on a warning.

“The release comes with conditions.

“You have to hand in your passports to the investigating officer, and you must not contact the State witnesses,” magistrate Jeremy van Vuuren said.

“You cannot write letters, e-mails, SMSes, and when you see them on the streets you can’t shout at them.” The matter was postponed to October 30.

Lungisa, one of few former league leaders young enough to be in the running to return to the ANCYL leadership, had made it known that he had his eye on staging a comeback when the league finally holds an elective conference to choose a new leadership, after the ANC dissolved the remnants of the Julius Malema-era leadership earlier this year.

A caretaker task team has been installed to breathe new life into the league, and revive its structures, but Lungisa has been a vocal critic of its performance.

The former NYDA chairman described the task team as a useless structure with no experience, that had failed to carry out its mandate of rebuilding the league, and called on the ANC to remove it.

Task team spokesman Bandile Masuku declined to comment on Friday on Lungisa’s arrest.

The spokesman for the Department of Arts and Culture Mack Lewele said he was not aware of Lungisa’s arrest, and so could not comment.

DA spokesman on sport and recreation, Winston Rabotapi, said whoever was responsible for what had happened to the money should “face the music”.

IFP Youth Brigade chairman Mkhuleko Hlengwa welcomed the arrests.

He said that the Hawks investigation should go beyond the concert funds and look into the financial history of the Nyda during Lungisa’s tenure there.

The IFP Youth lodged a complaint in 2011 with Public Protector Thuli Madonsela, asking her to investigate the infamous World Festival of Youth and Students, held in 2010 at a cost of R100m.

The investigation into what became known as the “kissing fest” continues.

The Nyda’s latest annual report showed irregular expenditure of R62m, down from the previous year’s R133m.

Pretoria News Weekend