Shout-Africa Breaking News – TSWANE – The National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) has condemned the recent disturbance of the 17th World Festival of Youth and Students by COPE. NYDA said it is disappointed at the behaviour of the group who stormed the venue under false pretenses. The group of about 500 people forced their way into the venue and used equipment meant for the World Festival.
The group has been violent towards delegates attending the World Festival. Alleged COPE leaders leading the group, Phillip Dexter, Smuts Ngonyama, Nosimo Balindlela, Willie Madisha and Leornard Ramatlakane were said to have failed to restrain their members who caused violence. The Festival organisers had to use police and security to remove them from the venue. The World Festival is currently underway at the Tshwane Events Centre in Pretoria.
The Chairman of NYDA Andile Lungisa said it seems all organisations that need publicity for their own agendas are using the World Festival to score points. “We condemn this type of opportunistic behaviour in the strongest terms,” says Lungisa.
The 17th World Festival of Youth and Students is the largest international youth festival hosted by the NYDA and the World Federation of Democratic Youth (WFDY). The festival started on Monday, 13 December and will end next Tuesday.
There are more than 15,000 delegates participating with representatives coming from more than 130 countries. “This type of behaviour is anti-democratic; it also reflects badly on South Africa’s image,” concluded Lungisa.