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Court bid to halt the appointment of NYDA board struck off the roll

Nivashni Nair Senior reporter
A portfolio committee and a select committee jointly recommended the names of seven youth to serve on the NYDA board.
A portfolio committee and a select committee jointly recommended the names of seven youth to serve on the NYDA board.
Image: GCIS

The Western Cape high court on Tuesday struck off the roll an urgent application from Letlhogonolo Modisane Maimane to stop parliament continuing with steps to appoint a new seven-member board for the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA).

Maimane was one of more than 1,000 applicants for the new seven-member NYDA board.

On Tuesday parliamentary spokesperson Moloto Mothapo said Parliament, consisting of the National Assembly (NA) and National Council of Provinces (NCOP), jointly established the sub-committee to process the applications.

However, Maimane cited only NA Speaker Thandi Modise as the first respondent, and the co-chairpersons of the sub-committee of the Portfolio Committee on Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities as the second respondent.

Mothapo said parliament believes Maimane’s application should be dismissed on three grounds.

“Omitting the NCOP chairperson as a respondent is a material non-joinder and makes the application fatally defective. The application is not urgent, and it lacks merit.”

The closing date for applications was April 9. Parliament said it received Maimane’s application on April 8 and recorded it as number 690.

“More than 1,000 people applied for the seven NYDA board positions and parliament published the names of all these applicants on its website from May 18 to 24 2021. This was solely for the sake of transparency. There was no statutory or other obligation to do so,” Mothapo said.

On May 27, parliament, in terms of section 9(3)(c) of the NYDA Act, published the names of the 40 shortlisted candidates on its website, and Maimane was not shortlisted.

The public had until June 5 to comment on the shortlisted candidates and the sub-committee then had public interviews with all 40 candidates.

Mothapo said Maimane instructed his attorneys to issue a letter of demand against the sub-committee.

On June 22, the sub-committee responded to Maimane, making it clear it would not agree to his demands.

“On June 28 2021, Maimane launched his present application and his founding affidavit does not explain this delay. Maimane also conflates the publication of applicants’ CVs on parliament’s website for transparency purposes with the publication of shortlisted applicants for interviews, as the NYDA Act requires. His complaint appears to be that his CV was published a few days after the first CVs started being published on the website.

“In his founding affidavit, Maimane claims his rights would be violated if the president appoints the new board ‘on the grounds that a fair process in as far as the advertisement of all the shortlisted candidates for public comments can be inferred that it was not applied’. This claim is not supported and the case lacks merit,” Mothapo said.

The presiding judge agreed with parliament that the applicant had failed to make a case of urgency.

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