Youth festival rife with corruption

2011-10-10 10:45
Jacques Pauw
Johannesburg - The taxpayer had to cough up more than R6m for a jet to fly 262 members of the Cuban Communist Youth League and their translators to South Africa for the National Youth Development Agency (Nyda)'s failed youth festival in December last year.

Shocking figures came to light after Media24's research team revealed that Nyda gave fat contracts to ANC-minded businessmen and wasted millions with its hosting of the World Youth Festival.

Nyda's extravagance is evident from the hundreds of documents that the Media24 research team obtained under the Act on Promotion of Information.

Forensic auditor Andre Prakke said proper bookkeeping did not take place and widespread fraud and theft was likely committed.

He said proper tender processes were not followed and very few of the contractors submitted tax clearance certificates as required.

The festival cost R106m. This is being investigated by the public protector.

Proper procedures

Among the documents that Media24's research team obtained, is the agreement that was signed in November last year by Nyda CEO Steven Ngubeni and Cubana, Cuba's national airline.

Nyda paid R5.6m to hire a 260-seater Ilyushin aircraft to transport members of Cuba's Communist Youth League to South Africa and back. Nyda further signed a contract to let 42 Cuban translators fly with them at an additional cost of R440 000. The hiring of translation equipment for the festival cost several millions.

The opening and closing ceremonies at the festival cost R9m - and was awarded to businessman Julius Mekwa, who openly supports ANC youth leader Julius Malema.

A Springs police officer received a contract of more than R20m to provide food and drinks. More than R6m was paid in advance to him.

Several millions were spent on flags, banners, military caps, raincoats, balloons, confetti and female models.

Ngubeni conceded that "proper procedures" were not always followed, but said that Nyda can defend the expense of R106m.


  • 2WhiteStars - 2011-10-10 11:08

    But Tutu wants Whites to pay a wealth tax to help uplift the starving, oppressed Blacks? If the government and its agencies just STOPPED their shameful wastage there'd be enough money to go around. Also, just a quick warning to all Whites: do NOT give the census takers any info on your income or lifestyle.

      daaivark - 2011-10-10 11:20

      What possible use to the nation is this refusal to provide information that is of no value from any criminal point of view? You are just cuttinf off your nose to spite your face. And as far as useful civil disobedience is concerned this is really small beer.

      alansmart223 - 2011-11-11 15:38

      A lot of noise was made about the "census" but nobody in our suburb (+/-) 2000 households has not seen or been visited by any information collectors at all. But who ever was tasked to do this area probably got their money. Was this not just another scam? We will never know.

  • daaivark - 2011-10-10 11:18

    Is anyone even vaguely surprised?

      Lioness - 2011-10-10 11:28

      Definitely NOT surprized but extremely P'd off. When is all of this corruption going to be stopped? I am sick and tired of our money being wasted on crap!

  • fantasticjac - 2011-10-10 11:19

    Oaky, I know it is a silly thing to consider spending money directed towards development on actual development, but give it a try guys. I mean it's not like SA has any real problems, hey? Sure, spending money on a lavish festival where no real development actually takes place seems like a charitable and noble cause, especially with all the confetti and models you had to buy, but hey, how could SA have benefited otherwise from such a small amount of cash (cough)? I also hope the Cuban Communist Youth League were kissing every tax payer they came across, if they were lucky enough to find any at the event, that is. One more thing; I received a college Diploma which I completed over 2 years, at a cost of R150 000 (This included housing, pocket money, etc.). That R106m could've put me through college 706 times. Or, if you think about it rationally, could've put 706 people through college. Just saying.

  • mickey - 2011-10-10 11:21

    Are we saying then that the public protector and all other powers that be, did not think this would happen?? It's all very well reacting now that the cat's out of the bag. In SA we are inflicted with two kinds of masses... The starving and the squandering!! The one can solve the problems of the other, but do they.....???!!! Africa has always been, and will always be, their own worst enemy!

  • PAnzi_ne_ANC - 2011-10-10 12:01

    thieves and scumsuckers ,, all of them yL or proper ANC.. no where si there any word of anythg good ever being done by these scumcuking bottom feeders.. why are they even allowed to exista s a species.. the are a perfect argumant FOR euthenasia.. ridding the planet fo unwanted and sub standard or useless species..

  • WCD - 2011-10-10 12:07

    Let them party like pigs in sh#t, while the beaver builds his house alone

  • WCD - 2011-10-10 12:09

    Let them party like pigs in sh#t, while the beaver builds his house alone

  • Myth - 2011-10-10 12:43

    Another bunch of scumbags masquerading as youth, or is this also a training ground for future anc politicians and leaders?

  • jen - 2011-10-10 13:33

    If Zuma has one braincell and an ounce of accountability he would do something about it. Why did we have to pay for the Cubans? It is criminal. What did that festival teach foreign youngsters? That the SA youth is easy, that there is plenty of money to go around despite the fact that the majority of South African have been, are and always will live under the bread line. And the ANC wonders why there is no respect for Jacob & Co. Disgusting news.

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