The Interview Sub-Committee of the Portfolio Committee on Women, Youth and People with Disabilities and the Select Committee on Health and Social Services deliberated on its interviews which took place from 27 to 31 July 2020 to fill seven vacancies on the NYDA Board following the term expiry of the previous board in May. Initially Members disagreed on how many candidates should be recommended for appointment, but it was eventually agreed that the NYDA Act did not speak to the recommendation of extra candidates.
Members expressed concern about the transparency of the scoring and selection process of candidates as this could be challenged if the correct process was not followed. Seven candidates were recommended for appointment to the NYDA board using codes. The following seven codes with averaged scores were recommended: ML scoring an average of 77.55; HI 75.22; KL 74.3; LK 72.7; EE 72.3; BB 72 and ON 72.
The full Committee reported on 5 August that the recommended candidates were: Mr John Sifiso Mtsweni; Ms Karabo Mohale; Ms Thuthukile Zuma; Ms Paballo Ponoane; Mr Lukhona Afika Mnguni; Mr Avela Mjajubana; Mr Molaoli Sekake.
Ms C N Ndaba (ANC), Portfolio Committee Chairperson, requested the Sub-Committee members to engage with the spreadsheet which listed all interviewed candidates. Members were required to use codes to recommend candidates. No names were to be used used. The secretariat would then collate who the candidates were that received the most and fewest nominations. She asked if Members had any comments.
Ms F Masiko (ANC) replied that she understood and agreed.
The Chairperson asked Members how many nominations should be done and she proposed that seven, nine or ten candidates be shortlisted. Extra candidates should be nominated in the event that some might decline the offer of appointment. In this case, it would be extended to the next candidate on the list in order of preference and priority. This would avoid the position being advertised again in the event of a board member resigning or a candidate declining the offer.
Ms Masiko agreed with the proposal but said that history had shown that with the last board, 12 candidates were recommended and seven were appointed. The Act does not make provision for the reserves. Therefore it would not be automatic that the extra recommended candidates will become board members.
The Chairperson asked for this information to be verified.
Dr Herman Tembe, Legal Assistant at the Office of Institutions Supporting Democracy (OISD), replied that he did not recall that 12 candidates were recommended.
Ms B Maluleke (ANC) said she would support having reserves, without disputing Ms Masiko’s comments. This would be useful in the event a candidate found greener pastures before the appointment process was complete and avoid the Committee having to find other candidates for recommendation. She seconded the Chairperson’s proposal.
Dr Tembe noted that the NYDA Act presented an issue in Section 9(9). He said the Committee should recommend extra candidates in addition to the required seven.
Ms M Gillion (ANC) said the NYDA Act only made provision for seven recommendations. Dr Tembe did not elaborate on the NYDA Act. She wanted Dr Tembe to comment on this.
Mr M Nchabeleng (ANC, Limpopo) said he would second the proposal that there be a reserve of three candidates.
Dr Tembe said that Section 9 of the NYDA Act deals with appointments. Board members must be appointed by the President on the recommendation of Parliament. Board members must be appointed in a manner that ensures transparency, openness and participation of the youth in the nomination process and the names of candidates must be published. The NYDA Act is almost similar to a provision in the Commission on Gender Equality Act which states the President may in consultation with the Commission appoint a part-time board member as a full-time board member for the unexpired portion of the part-time member’s term of office. With CGE there is conversion between full-time and part-time. The NYDA Act is drafted similarly. It is up to the Committee to decide what happens should a board member resign or pass on before an appointment is made. It is better to be on the safe side and it is a proactive approach, despite it not being stipulated in the Act, that extra candidates may be recommended.
The Chairperson said she wanted to close the matter as the NYDA Act was not clear and did not speak about reserve recommendations and the President had the final say. The Committee should shortlist seven candidates to prevent the work of the Committee being challenged through litigation. The Chairperson said the matter was closed.
Ms S Khawula (EFF) made comments that were not in English [1:37].
Ms Gillion said it was agreed that seven names would be recommended to Parliament. She proposed that each Member recommended seven names.
Mr Nchabeleng interjected saying the Committee was done with that.
Ms Gillion asked the Chairperson to protect her saying she had the right to speak and clarify in the meeting as it was democratic process. If she was not comfortable, she must be protected.
The Chairperson said Ms Gillion was protected.
Mr Nchabeleng said he was sorry.
Ms Gillion said she wanted to be comfortable with the report and the process must be protected. Many people are scrutinising the process. She would not be comfortable to recommend seven candidates but then propose ten candidates. She suggested that each Member recommend seven candidates and the seven candidates with the most recommendations must be put forward to Parliament.
Mr L Mphithi (DA) said he had a different view to what had been proposed. He understood that the scoring which Members gave during interviews must be presented. He asked for clarity on nominating seven individuals and if there should also be scoring.
Ms Gillion said she has listed seven names according to her own scoring which she believes other Members have also done. This is how the process should be protected.
Mr Mphithi said he did not think this was fair if Members would not be able to give scoring for all candidates. If we only give scoring for seven candidates, the other scoring falls away. How then do we calculate the total number of scores from all Members?
Ms Gillion replied that all candidates were scored and that she did not see the rationale in Mr Mphithi’s comments. All score sheets should be provided to the administration so these could be kept on record. Each Member would have scored candidates and made a shortlist according to the scoring which means out of 29 candidates, the first seven or 10 candidates should be recommended.
Mr Mphithi said he wanted clarity on the spreadsheets. He did not understand why Ms Gillion was saying only seven candidates should be nominated when the spreadsheet requires that all 29 candidates be scored in order for a total score to be made at the end. For the integrity of this process it is not fair to only nominate seven candidates. If Members feel they want to move forward in the manner suggested by Ms Gillion that is fine. However, for him, it is something he will note as an objection.
Ms Masiko said the scores needed to be submitted to administration, but that it would not be practical for each to submit the scores for all 29 candidates.
The Chairperson said it was her understanding that 29 candidates were interviewed and the seven candidates who scored the most out of the 29 candidates must be shortlisted.
Mr Mphithi said he understood the Chairperson and Ms Gillion’s points. If this approach is taken where we are not 100% transparent by ensuring all scores are clear then unfortunately the process is troublesome.
The Chairperson said she would give all Members a few minutes to present all 29 candidates according to their individual scoring to the administration after which the administration would consolidate the information.
Ms T Mgweba (ANC) said Dr Tembe should guide the Committee since there were different views and to enable the Committee to do things legally. More especially this process is being scrutinised by the youth of South Africa. She shared Mr Mphithi’s sentiments saying that not scoring all candidates would make the Committee unpopular across the country if it does things that are not free and fair. Dr Tembe should advise on the correct process for scoring.
The Chairperson said she had closed the matter.
Mr M Bara (DA) made comments that were not in English [2:00]. The process should be done in the right and acceptable way.
Ms Mgweba made comments that were not in English [2:04].
Dr Tembe said for purposes of transparency, Members should submit their scoring.
The Chairperson said she had made a ruling on the matter. She said she did not want it to seem as if the Committee was hiding something.
Ms Gillion said that perhaps some people would think she is a difficult person when it comes to process but she wanted to protect Members and the process. Dr Tembe said there should be transparency since there was huge interest in the process. She recommended that Members give all their scoring and keep the process open as Dr Tembe suggested.
The Chairperson said Members should finalise their scores according to the way the Committee has resolved.
[Meeting adjourned for Members to complete their scoring sheets for recommending candidates]
When the meeting recommenced, Members presented codes for their recommended candidates.
Ms B Maluleke (ANC) presented her scoring for the following codes: AA52, AB62, AB67, CC57, CD64, DD54, DE70, EE72, EF70, FF55, FG63, GG60, GH64, HH71, HI74, II53, IJ55, JJ47, JK59, KK64, KL65, LL75, LK66, ML73, MM68, MN61, NN58, ON73, OO63.
Ms Khawula presented her scoring for the following codes: AA60, AB60, BB95, CC65, CD55, DD50, DE45, EE77, EF94, FF63, FG65,GG60, GH48, HH61, II55, IJ68, JJ45, JK80, KK60, KL65, ML92, MK92, ML60, MM58,NN62, NN63, ON75, OO64,
Ms Masiko presented her scoring for the following codes: 0069, ON69, MN60, MN62, MN70, ML94,LK80, LL75, AL88, AA79, JK70, JJ52, IJ54, II58, HI89, HH82, GH68, GG69, FG68, FF45, EF63, EE85, DE65, DD62, CD62, CC69, BB69, AB67, AA58.
Ms Gillion presented her scoring for the following codes: AA52, AB63, BB64, CC62, CD60, DD65, DE60, EE80, EF85, FF60, FG60, GC50, GH60, HH89, HI87, II62, IJ60, JJ60, JK63, KK60, KL90, LL64, LK82, ML94, MM68, MN62, NN63, ON72, OO70.
Mr Mphithi presented his scoring for the following codes: AA34, AB69, BB84, CC44, CD41, DD44, DE39, EE19, EF48. Mr Mphithi noted that he was present for the interview of FF; FG38, GG50, GH44, HH50, HI53, II51, IJ48, JJ45, JK30, KK41, KL46, LL22, LK48, ML39, MM51, MN26, NN34, ON40, OO33.
Ms Maleka presented her scoring for the following codes: AA61, AB60, BB64, CC66, CD63, DD62, DE65, EE89, EF61, FF50. Ms Maleka indicated that she was not present for interviews for FG, GG, HH, HI on 28 July 2020; II53, IJ51, JJ52, JK60, KK69, KL90, LL74, LK83, ML95, MM70, MN69, NN61, ON69, OO58.
Ms Mgweba presented her scoring for the following codes: 0045, ON95, NN65, MN465, MM55, MN47, MN55, ML70, MK70, ML72, KL60, KK46, JK44, JJ39, IJ40, II35, HI65, HH50, GH50, GG46, FG50, FF29, EF40, EE58, DE40, DD41, CD50, CC36, BB62, AB65, AA53.
Ms Ndaba presented her scoring for the following codes: FF49, FG77, GG65, GH77, HH87, H191, II76, IJ73, JJ75, JK76, KK72, KL91, LL81, KL81, LL81, LK81, ML92, MM65, EF72, EE92, DE69, DD71, CD74, CC75, BB73, AB81, AA52, MN74, N72, ON73, OO70.
Mr Bara presented his scoring for the following codes: AA39, AB61, BB72, CC43, CD48, DD60, DE51, EE55, EF59, FF27, FG53, GG55, GH58, HH63, HI60, II58, IJ57, JJ50, JK53, KK55, KL56, LL60, LK51, ML49, MM65, MN50, NN52, ON62, OO61.
Mr Nchabeleng presented his scoring for the following codes: AA34, AB68, BB70, CC80, CD72, DD81, DE73, EE92, EF61, FF51, FG74, GG59, GH79, HH82, HI91, II81, IJ89, JJ84, JK78, KK87, KL90, LL92, LK74, Mr Nchabeleng indicated that he was not present when ML was scored, NN90, MM81, MN82, ON92, 0088.
The Chairperson asked the Content Advisor to consolidate and verify the codes.
Ms Masiko pointed out that for some interviews two Members have not scored because they were absent. The expectation is that 100 will be subtracted from the total number in this case. She asked for clarity on this.
The Secretariat explained no subtraction was done. The averages were done in the same way.
Ms Masiko said she still had a problem with the calculations and was referring to FF, FG, GG, HH, HI, and II. Ms Maleka was not present and as a result these candidates will not have a scoring. Mr Mphithi was not present when FF was interviewed.
The Chairperson said the calculations need to be corrected.
Ms Gillion asked if Dr Tembe was still present. She did not want the process that the Committee had worked so hard on to be compromised and challenged. She disagreed with Mr Nchabeleng having to get a new score card for where he did not have scoring for one candidate. Mr Nchabeleng was present for the interview of that particular candidate. There is a difference between Ms Maleka, Mr Mphithi and Mr Nchabeleng as Mr Nchabeleng was present at the interviews. She did not want the Committee to be challenged in court over such mistakes. She asked Dr Tembe to advise the Committee.
The Chairperson said round figures would be calculated and where there was no score, it would not be used. The average at the end would be based on the scores available.
Ms Masiko said the two spreadsheets do not align.
The Chairperson asked Ms Abrahams to present the report.
Committee Content Advisor, Ms Kashifa Abrahams, presented on Sheet 2 and said the average scores are ranked from highest to lowest.
She presented codes for the seven candidates as follows: ML scored an average of 77.55; HI scored 75.22; KL scored 74.3; LK scored 72.7; EE scored 72.3; BB scored 72 and ON scored 72.
HH scored 70.55; LL scored 67.8; AB scored 65.6; EF scored 65.3; MM scored 65.1; KK scored 63.3; OO scored 62.1; NN scored 61.8; JK scored 61.3; FG scored 60.88; GH scored 60.88; CC scored 59.7; IJ scored 59.5; MN scored 59.5; DD scored 59; CD scored 58.9; II scored 58.2; DE scored 57.7; GG scored 57.11; JJ scored 54.9; AA scored 49.5 and FF scored 47.66.
The Chairperson thanked Ms Abrahams.
The Chair asked for a mover for the adoption of the Committee report.
Dr Tembe noted that Section 9(4) of the NYDA Act states that Members must reflect the geographical spread of the country. This factor must be considered for compliance with the Act.
Ms Mgweba said this cannot be discussed at the end of the process.
The Chairperson asked for a mover on the results again. Candidates had said they were originally from a certain province, but were working in Gauteng.
The Chairperson asked Members to leave the report as it was.
Ms Khawula moved for the adoption of the report.
Ms Maluleke seconded the report.
The report was agreed upon by the Sub-Committee and the final report would later be adopted by the full Committee.
Mr Nchabeleng said it was agreed.
The codes for the seven recommended candidates were: ML, HI, KL, LK, BB, ON, EE.
Ms Masiko said the Committee was sent two spreadsheet reports and the first did not consider Members who were absent for some interviews in its calculations and thus had errors. The second report has averages which is why the first report was not considered.
Ms Maluleke said it was agreed that averages would not disadvantage anyone or change anything.
Ms Mgweba seconded the outcome of the report as Ms Khawula had moved for the adoption.
The chairperson thanked Members and said it was the final results.
Ms Gillion thanked all Members and wished the recommended candidates good luck saying that the youth of South Africa needs them.
The meeting was adjourned.
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