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Fraud case for NYDA's Lungisa and co postponed

Sapa

The fraud case against former National Youth Development Agency head and three co-accused has been postponed to the end of March.

Former National Youth Development Agency leader Andile Lungisa. (Oupa Nkosi, M&G)

Former National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) head Andile Lungisa, his wife and two others appeared briefly in the Johannesburg Specialised Commercial Crime Court on Thursday.

The matter was postponed to March 31.

Lungisa and his co-accused – his wife Ursula Sali, and Xolisile Guquza and Thabo Shogolo – face charges of fraud and money laundering. The four allegedly accepted and shared among themselves R2.5-million paid by the arts and culture department for the Nelson Mandela Sports Day concert. They allegedly promised that US singer R Kelly would perform at the concert, but he did not.

Previously, Lungisa and Shogolo were granted bail of R10 000 each, Guquza was granted bail of R5 000, and Sali was released on a warning.

They were arrested in October, after handing themselves in to the Hawks.

At the time of the concert, the department said it had entered into negotiations with the promoter of the R&B singer's recent tour to South Africa.

'We will get our money back'
It was subsequently announced that the star was on the bill for the music concert that would follow the day's sporting events.

But it was discovered that R Kelly's management had been unaware of the agreement, and he had departed the country as planned.

Meanwhile, the arts and culture department said on August 15 that it would get back its money paid for R Kelly to perform.

"We will get our money back," arts and culture department spokesperson Mack Lewele said at the time.

Sports and Recreation Minister Fikile Mbalula in August said a few individuals, who he did not name, wanted to get rich "in a split of a second" by lying to the department.

"This was a scheme by people who wanted to get rich quickly," he told reporters during a briefing at FNB Stadium about the inaugural Nelson Mandela Sport and Culture Day.

"I do not think R Kelly would have shunned performing for Madiba ... but he will not be here. The show will continue with the rest of the line-up."

Festival
In December 2010 the NYDA organised the 17th World Festival of Youth and Students. The R106-million event was marred by promised events that did not happen.

Later it transpired that artists were billed for the festival but had not even been approached to perform, just as ministers who were billed as speakers. Amounts totalling R250 000 were spent on party supplies like balloons and confetti but there was a shortage of food.

Nevertheless then-chairperson Lungisa spoke of "a resounding success".

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