Parliament stops its ‘flawed’ NYDA process, starts afresh

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Parliament has abandoned its controversial process of appointing the new National Youth Development Agency board and wants it to be started from scratch.

The legislature’s decision came amid threats of a legal action by one of the unsuccessful candidates, who claimed that the process was flawed.

The deputy chief whip of the ANC, Doris Dlakude, tabled a motion yesterday referring a report of the ad hoc committee, which was established to appoint the new board back to the committee for “further consideration”.

Dlakude’s motion also called for the re-establishment of the ad hoc joint committee to appoint the youth development agency board members with the same composition, membership, chairperson and powers as its predecessor.

The report, which was sent back to the committee, was recommending that the National Assembly approve seven candidates – Yershen Pillay, Thulani Tshefuta, Bavelile Hlongwa, Thembinkosi Josophu, Zandile Majoz, Naledi Maponopono and Ndumiso Mokako for appointment to the board and to refer the names to President Jacob Zuma, who appoints the board. The ad hoc committee arrived at the seven names last Wednesday.

The process followed by the committee was imbued in controversy with at least one unsuccessful candidate threatening legal action against Parliament.

Kenny Morolong, who is the outgoing chairperson of the board was short-listed for the new board and, despite performing well during the job interview in Parliament last Tuesday, his name was withdrawn at the 11th hour.

ANC MP Mohapi Mohapi told the ad hoc committee that Morolong’s name was dropped because he did not possess a three-year post-matric qualification, which is one of the requirements to be on the board.

It’s not clear why the ad hoc committee accepted Morolong’s application, short-listed him and interviewed him despite him not having the required academic qualifications.

ANC and youth league sources have since alleged to City Press that a number of the successful candidates did not hold any qualifications either.

Morolong did not take his exclusion lying down. His lawyers wrote to Parliament on Friday demanding that “any process excluding our client from the list of recommended candidates be halted”.

The lawyers’ letter also demanded that: “Unless you comply with the demands stated above, we hold instructions to bring an application for appropriate relief in the high court as a matter of urgency, for which costs may be sought against Parliament.

“We are requesting the secretary to Parliament to halt this process until they have corrected the impropriety that has occurred,” said Morolong’s lawyer, Ronald Lamola, a former deputy president of the youth league.

ANC MPs, speaking on condition of anonymity, told City Press last week that committee members were pressured by the ANC youth league leadership to drop Morolong. Morolong is a rival of ANC youth league president Collen Maine.

The National Assembly gave the ad hoc committee until May 19 to redo the entire recruitment process for the agency.