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The ANC Youth League (ANCYL) has seem­ingly moved moun­tains to force Par­lia­ment to amend the cri­te­ria and aca­demic re­quire­ments for in­di­vid­u­als to serve in the mul­ti­mil­lion-rand Na­tional Youth De­vel­op­ment Agency (NYDA).

The league wants its deputy pres­i­dent, Den­nis Moela, who does not pos­sess a ter­tiary qual­i­fi­ca­tion, to be the next chair­per­son of the agency.

Moela, who was nom­i­nated by the ANCYL in ear­lier pro­cesses – de­spite not hav­ing the re­quired aca­demic qual­i­fi­ca­tions – had been pre­vi­ously ex­cluded from the short list, which an­gered the young li­ons.

De­spite his ex­clu­sion, the league, at its na­tional ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee meet­ing in April, took a res­o­lu­tion that Par­lia­ment should restart the ap­point­ment process and lower the bar to en­sure that Moela was some­how in­cluded on the agency’s board.

This week, Par­lia­ment adopted a mo­tion to restart the process that was aban­doned in May with­out any of­fi­cial ex­pla­na­tion.

This was de­spite the fact that the term of the pre­vi­ous board had ended in March.

City Press can re­veal that the new process has been drafted in such a way that it would no longer be a re­quire­ment for can­di­dates to have a ter­tiary qual­i­fi­ca­tion to serve on the board.

ANC chief whip Jack­son Mthembu told City Press that the de­ci­sion to drop the re­quire­ment was based on the fact that it was not there be­fore when the pre­vi­ous boards were ap­pointed.

Mthembu said the cri­te­ria were not pre­scribed in law and would also have ex­posed Par­lia­ment to le­gal chal­lenges.

Mthembu said pro­ceed­ing with that re­quire­ment would have dis­crim­i­nated against the can­di­dates who had served and had done well in the pre­vi­ous boards.

Mthembu de­nied sug­ges­tions that Par­lia­ment was pan­der­ing to the whims of the ANCYL, which had pre­vi­ously vowed to City Press that it would get its way.

“This has noth­ing to do with the ANCYL. It’s just that the law does not pre­scribe the re­quire­ment for aca­demic qual­i­fi­ca­tions.

“We then re­alised that if we con­tin­ued with that re­quire­ment, we were open­ing the process to a le­gal chal­lenge,” he said.

This is the fourth time Par­lia­ment has tried to re­cruit can­di­dates for the NYDA board. The pre­vi­ous three pro­cesses were aban­doned with­out an of­fi­cial ex­pla­na­tion.

City Press un­der­stands that at is­sue is a re­quire­ment for can­di­dates to pos­sess at least a three-year de­gree or an equiv­a­lent and – to an ex­tent – the in­ter­nal fac­tional pol­i­tics of the ANCYL that seemed not to have can­di­dates with march­ing re­quire­ments for the board.

The ANCYL’s sec­re­tary-gen­eral, Njabulo Nzuza, con­firmed that the league’s na­tional ex­ec­u­tive wanted Moela to serve on the board.

He said the league would nom­i­nate some­one when the time came.

“We are quite happy that the process is start­ing afresh be­cause of the is­sues that we raised. The process must be open so that all young peo­ple can par­tic­i­pate,” said Nzuza.

This week, the Na­tional As­sem­bly adopted a mo­tion by Mthembu to re-es­tab­lish the ad hoc joint com­mit­tee and that the com­mit­tee re­port back to the House by De­cem­ber 7.

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