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Parliament looks for NYDA liars and cheats

2016-04-10 16:00

Claims that applicants cheated and lied have slowed the process of selecting the board of the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA).

Phil Mapulane, the co-chairperson of the ad hoc committee established to appoint the board, confirmed that the state was verifying the ages and academic qualifications of the 12 candidates who were interviewed by the committee on March 30.

Mapulane said although no official complaint was laid with the committee or Parliament, questions had been raised about age-cheating and a possibility that candidates had lied about their academic qualifications.

“We must not close our eyes to these things that are coming.

“We don’t want to forge ahead and the next thing Parliament is embarrassed.”

This week, the National Assembly referred the report of the ad hoc committee back to the committee for “further considerations”.

The report would have recommended that seven candidates – Thulani Tshefuta, Yershen Pillay, Bavelile Hlongwa, Thembinkosi Josophu, Ndumiso Mokako, Zandile Majozi and Naledi Maponopono – be appointed to serve as board members.

The president appoints the board on the recommendation of the National Assembly.

Mapulane told City Press last week that the recruitment process was not being restarted.

However, the report was referred back to the joint ad hoc committee because “there are some issues which Parliament would like to satisfy itself on”.

“For instance, when we started the process, we indicated on the advert that we will have to verify the qualifications of all applicants and do proper screening.

“[But] the time that we were given was not sufficient for us to do that for all the candidates who were interviewed,” said Mapulane.

They were re-examining the applications.

This is to ensure that there will not be issues that will arise later about the academic qualifications or age, or anything, about the candidates they were recommending.

“Secondly, one of the candidates, Kenny Morolong, is challenging the process. There have been letters exchanged and so forth.

“We need to pause a bit so that we make sure that whatever we do, we don’t rush this process,” said Mapulane.

Morolong was disqualified from the process after being scored as the fourth-best performer in interviews.

ANC MP Mohapi Mohapi explained that they were dropping Morolong because he did not possess the required three-year, post-matric qualification.

But Morolong, through his lawyers, threatened Parliament with court action while demanding a full report of the process followed by the ad hoc committee.

Allegations were rife that the ANC Youth League leadership was behind his exclusion.

This was confirmed by ANC MPs. They told City Press last week that the youth league president and the league’s secretary-general had pressured MPs to drop Morolong, a political rival of theirs.

A number of youth league members have since made several allegations of age-cheating and fake qualifications against some of the candidates who were being recommended by the special committee.

City Press could not independently verify these allegations.

Mapulane said the verification of the information was not done because of the tight deadline the committee was given by the National Assembly to conclude its work.

“We requested that this be done, but it was never done.

“It might be because the staff members were overworked,” he added.

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