NYDA board selection clouded by questions about eligibility and whispers of political influence
The letter stated that: "The ANCY NYTT convened all PYA structures with regards to its preferred candidates for the new NYDA board. The structures agreed on the need for continuity with regards to the composition of the board therefore reaffirming the names of Sifiso Mtsweni and Joy Maimela."
Four names included in the letter ultimately made it onto the final recommended list. These are Sifiso Mtsweni, Thuthikile Zuma, Karabo Mohale, and Avela Mjujabana.
Zuma is the daughter of corruption-accused former president Jacob Zuma and Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.
According to her CV, her first job after completing a BA with Honours in Anthropology at the University of the Witwatersrand in 2012, was as a public liaison officer at the State Security Agency.
In 2014, she was appointed as then minister of telecommunications Siyabonga Cwele's chief of staff. She left this position the following year.
Mphithi said it was now clear that the majority of the final recommendations were decided months before the interview process for the board even began.
READ ALSO | 'Politics of money terrorises ANC youth formations' - Young Communist League
"From the onset of the appointment process, the DA warned against the NYDA board being used, as in the past, to accelerate ANC political interests and patronage, and called for candidates to be appointed based on merit and experience. Much like most of our state machinery, the ANC and its cadres, under the guise of transformation, BBBEE and empowerment, have regressed the NYDA into a full-blown criminal entity to legally loot its almost half a billion-rand budget," he said.
When the National Assembly votes on the appointments, Mphithi said the DA would once again strongly object to these candidates.
"NYDA board members are paid an average of R500 000 annually to attend 10 board meetings per year, where they decide who will be the next cadre to get a slice of the entity's almost R500 million budget. This is millions of rands wasted on politically compromised individuals whose greatest achievements are their ANC memberships. Meanwhile, brilliant and talented young people across the demographic and political spectrum are left out in the cold with little to no opportunities available to them," he said.