File photo: President Jacob Zuma. Photo: Bongiwe Mchunu

The SA Youth Council (SAYC) has challenged the selection process of the National Youth Development Agency’s board members, claiming it was unfair.

There are allegations that the selection committee favoured people sympathetic to President Jacob Zuma, a step seen as a ploy to ensure he gets a second term in Mangaung in December.

The youth council has threatened to approach Public Protector Thuli Madonsela to intervene if its concerns are not addressed.

The council expressed its dissatisfaction regarding the selection process in a letter to the Speaker of Parliament, Max Sisulu, and National Council of Provinces (NCOP) chairman Mninwa Mahlangu.

The council has also requested parliamentary ad hoc committee members to declare their relationship with some of the seven selected candidates.

The recommended candidates are former SA Students Congress leader Xoliswa Bambiso; the deputy national chairperson of the IFP Youth Brigade, Zandile Majozi; ANC Youth League members Muthupi Modiba, Kenny Morolong and Maropene Ntuli; and Young Communist League members Yershen Pillay and Nyalleng Potloana.

The committee’s recommendations were expected to be presented to the National Assembly on Tuesday for approval. The list of recommended candidates will be presented to the NCOP next Thursday. Subsequently, approved candidates’ names will be sent to Zuma for a final decision.

In the letter, Western Cape SAYC chairman Thembinkosi Josopu challenged the committee to release the scores of the candidates and explain how they were rated. The SAYC had nominated its president, Thulani Tshefuta, who failed to make the cut.

“In all the interview processes, we as a youth representative body are of the view that the said candidate was the best-performing candidate during the interviews, and we acknowledge that some candidates that were fielded are of a good standard,” the letter reads.

The youth council has also called on the selection process to be started afresh if its concerns prove to be true.

Josopu said they would approach Madonsela after the sitting of the NCOP. Although he would not give names, Josopu said people who had relationships with the selected candidates should have recused themselves as their involvement amounted to a conflict of interest.

Cope MP Nqaba Bhanga, who was on the interviewing panel, agreed, saying two candidates - Tshefuta and Abel Rangata, who is from Limpopo - had excelled in the interviews. He claimed they had not been selected because they were not in the Zuma camp.

“Those who don’t support Zuma must be excluded,” Bhanga said.

He would not be drawn on how the candidates were rated, adding: “It’s all about Mangaung. These people don’t care whether you are quality or quantity.”

A source claimed Tshefuta had not been considered because he was close to former development agency board chairman Andile Lungisa, an ally of expelled ANCYL president Julius Malema. Lungisa, who was nominated by the ANCYL, has been left out in the cold and excluded from the next board following the interviews. - The Star

[email protected]