ANC deputy secretary genderal Jessie Duarte. Picture: Bongani Mbatha/ African News Agency(ANA)
ANC deputy secretary genderal Jessie Duarte. Picture: Bongani Mbatha/ African News Agency(ANA)

NYDA board members were pre-determined by Luthuli House, says the DA

By African News Agency Time of article published Aug 10, 2020

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Durban - The DA said on Monday that some of the new proposed board members of the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) had been determined by Luthuli House.

Established in 2008, the agency wields a budget of close on R500 million and has a mandate to "tackle challenges that the nation’s youth are faced with", particularly unemployment and educational inequalities.

The DA said in a statement that according to a letter written to ANC deputy secretary general Jessie Duarte, by ANC National Youth Task Team (NYTT) convener Tandi Mahambehlala, the final recommendations for the NYDA board were pre-determined by the governing party.

"The letter, dated three months ago, lists the Progressive Youth Alliance’s (PYA) preferred candidates for the NYDA board and affirms that the final recommendations were pre-determined and only rubber-stamped by the ANC in Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities," said the statement.

"It is now clear that the majority of the final recommendations were decided months before the interview process for the board even began."

The letter to Duarte states that: “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 - Sifiso Mtsweni, Thuthikile Zuma (daughter of former president Jacob Zuma), Karabo Mohale, and Avela Mjujabana.

The DA said that from the outset of the appointment process, it had warned about the board being used to accelerate ANC political interests and patronage, and had thus called for candidates to be appointed based on merit and experience.

"Much like most of our state machinery, the ANC and its cadres, under the guise of transformation, BBBEE and empowerment, have regressed the NYDA into a full-blown criminal entity to legally loot its almost half a billion rand budget," said DA youth leader and MP, Luyolo Mphithi.

"NYDA board members are paid an average of R500 000 annually to attend 10 board meetings per year, where they decide who will be the next cadre to get a slice of the entity’s almost R500 million budget," added Mphithi.

He said the greatest achievements of the "politically compromised individuals" was their ANC membership, while "brilliant and talented" citizens were overlooked.

The DA would be objecting to the appointment of the candidates when the matter was brought before the National Assembly, he said.

African News Agency

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