Luthuli House has stepped in to stop a parliamentary process to appoint a new National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) board, the finalisation of which is already two months overdue.
The intervention is at the behest of the ANC Youth League, which is unhappy about the outcome of that process.
With a total budget of R410 million – of which 40% is spent on salaries – and the power to dispense project money, the Nyda is a highly contested agency.
It has previously been a terrain of battle between the ANC Youth League and the Young Communist League, and between factions of these youth formations.
This week Parliament failed to approve the proposed names of candidates to serve on the new NYDA board despite the fact that the agency has not had a board for two months and the fact that MPs are going on an 11-week “constituency period” until after the August 3 elections.
The matter has not disappeared off the Order Paper but has dropped “below the line”, Parliament jargon for a matter that may be considered if and when time permits.
City Press understands there was a meeting of the ANC’s deployment committee at Luthuli House on Tuesday, where the matter was discussed.
City Press has also been reliably informed that top ANC officials will soon be meeting youth league leaders about this matter.
ANC national spokesperson Zizi Kodwa did not respond directly to questions about whether there had been Luthuli interference in the parliamentary process.
“NYDA board members’ appointment is done through a parliamentary process. ANC participates as a party represented in Parliament not headquarters,” he said via a text message.
He did not respond to a follow-up SMS as to whether Luthuli House intervened or not.
But the ANC Youth League’s secretary-general, Njabulo Nzuza, stopped short of confirming Luthuli House’s interference.
“We have made it quite clear that we are not happy with the process and the process must be halted and started afresh. And it will be done so,” Nzuza said yesterday.
He said the youth league was of the view that the process was flawed and should be restarted in light of inconsistencies around the issue of qualifications, where some unqualified people were short-listed.
“We have made this point to the ANC and we believe that it will be the case. We are saying as the youth league the process will start afresh,” he said.
Asked whether this was a guarantee from the mother body, Nzuza responded: “Obviously the ANC Youth League is a very influential organisation and that is why we know that will happen.”
City Press understands that the ANC Youth League took a resolution at its national executive committee (NEC) meeting last month that Parliament should restart the appointment process and that its deputy president, Dennis Moela, should be on the board.
Co-chairman of the ad hoc committee Phil Mapulane said he did not know why the names were not approved by Parliament on Thursday.
“It [approval of names] was not scheduled. We are still trying to find out why,” he said.
ANC chief whip Jackson Mthembu also claimed ignorance, saying the matter was not on the programme and it was the function of the programming committee to get it there. “There might be something outstanding, I don’t know,” he said.
The three-year term of the outgoing NYDA board ended in March and for the past few weeks, Parliament has been delaying the process of appointing a new board, which was challenged by at least one unsuccessful candidate, Kenny Morolong.
The ad hoc committee, which was established to nominate candidates for the agency’s board, finalised its work on Tuesday morning.
In its final list of names, the committee reinstated Morolong.
It dropped two members of the ANC Youth League, Thulani Tshefuta and Thembinkosi Josopu, who had initially made the short list and were said to be among the best performers in the interview process.
Tshefuta and Josopu were among 11 ANC Youth League members who were nominated from Luthuli House by Thamsanqa Sibiya, who is the coordinator of the youth league’s NEC and national working committee.
In a report tabled to Parliament this week, the ad hoc committee states that of the 12 short-listed candidates, Tshefuta and Josopu did not return the personal credential disclosure forms as required, in order for Parliament to verify their qualifications.
Tshefuta later withdrew his candidature from the process, according to the report.
Josopu is disputing this version of events and is claiming that he submitted everything that Parliament required from him.
He wrote to Parliament this week, contesting “some of the facts in the
He told City Press: “We have written to them also to contest the process itself.”