Young Communist League of SA secretary Mluleki Dlelanga addresses the media in Johannesburg on the new NYDA board. Photo: Getrude Makhafola / ANA
Johannesburg - The Young Communist League of SA (YCLSA) on Monday accused President Jacob Zuma of appointing “a factional” new National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) board by demoting Yershen Pillay from chairing the youth organisation.

Secretary Mluleki Dlelanga said the YCLSA was “disappointed” in Zuma and accused him of factionalism, adding that the ruling African National Congress (ANC) would usually consult its members over the new NYDA board.

“Whilst we respect the prerogative of the President to appoint the board, the YCLSA’s conclusion is that the President, based on the appointment of this board took, the decision under factional lines…if you behave in a factional way, you’re factional,” Dlelanga told reporters in Johannesburg.

After a lengthy parliamentary process and delays, Zuma finally appointed the new board last week. They are chairman Sifiso John Mtsweni, deputy chairwoman Bavelile Gloria Hlongwa, Khomotjo Joy Maimela, Ndumiso Thokozani Mokako, Itiseng Kenneth Morolong, Pillay, and Zandile Majozi. Mtshweni is a member of the ANC Youth League (ANCYL) national executive committee along with Mokako and Hlongwa.

YCLSA chairman Pillay’s term as NYDA board chair ended in March last year.

Dlelanga said Mtshweni was “a guy with a driver’s license” and nothing else.

“We are very disappointed..we went further and checked who these new candidates are. We found out that the new chairperson, with due respect to him, is just a mere guy with a driver’s license, matric certificate and a pawn being used in factional politics. We had been having a clear programme as the YCLSA to make education fashionable and look into the quality and education levels of our youth.”

Last year, Dlelanga told delegates at the YCLSA national council in Soweto that the organisation would pull Pillay from the NYDA should he not be reappointed as chairman of the board.

Dlelanga told delegates at the time that the YCLSA would not allow Pillay, under whom the NYDA achieved a clean audit for the first time in the 2014/2015 financial year, to be led “by people who only possess an identity document and a matric certificate and tasked with a multimillion-rand [NYDA] budget”.

When asked whether Pillay would now withdraw from NYDA, Dlelanga said a decision would be taken after consultation with YCLSA members. Pillay was in the meantime encouraged to continue with his work at the youth organisation, he said.

“Officials discussed the matter and decided there should be consultations. We are just giving him [Pillay] the leeway for now, that in between consultations he can accept the appointment…but he can officially accept decision of the structure only when consultation is completed.”

He added that Zuma and the deployment of the African National Congress (ANC) deployment committee never consulted the YCLSA as it has been the tradition.

“The President consulted us through the media, through his spokesperson’s statement. There has never been any consultation, the established tradition on consultations has been violated. I spoke with the president of the youth league [Collen Maine] and secretary [Njabulo Nzuza] and raised our dissatisfaction with the appointments..we will meet with them again to continue raising this factionalisation of appointments within the alliance.” 

African News Agency