WATCH: Carl Niehaus hits back at ANC over disciplinary charges
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Johannesburg - Fired ANC member and suspended Umkhonto We Sizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) spokesperson Carl Niehaus has hit back and responded to the disciplinary charges that the party brought against him.
On Friday, the ANC decided to institute disciplinary charges against Niehaus.
Niehaus said he received an email from the General Manager of the ANC, Febe Potgieter, informing him that disciplinary charges were brought against him once again.
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“There are no coincidences in life and certainly in politics. After the ANC failed to bring disciplinary charges against me after 30 days of temporarily suspending my ANC membership. Suddenly, now I was being charged. It certainly followed a day after myself and comrade MacDonald Mathabe sent a letter of demand to the party officials to pay their outstanding salaries. The letter was informing the ANC that we have put a motion process of having the organisation being declared insolvent and for it to be separated,” Niehaus said.
He said this is ‘silly’ tit-for-tat politics since before there were no clear charges possible from what he said at the residence of former president Jacob Zuma in Nkandla in July.
“Suddenly now, there were charges, and they had to be rushed out to me in the early morning more so they had to be rushed out in such an untidy way that the first part of the letter refers to dates which do not relate to the charges to the second letter. So evidently, the prosecutor or the person who prepares these charges is junior, but so under pressure and rushed to put these charges out that he cut and paste it to a different letter,” he said.
The party said Niehaus is charged with having committed six counts of contravening Rule 25.17.5.
“Your conduct also constitutes a failure, refusal or neglect to comply with an ANC resolution in contravention of Rule 25.17.3 of the ANC Constitution,” said the ANC.
The ANC said Niehaus is required to attend a disciplinary hearing to be conducted by the national disciplinary committee on November 21 and 22 via a virtual platform.
“You have the right to be represented by a member of the ANC in good standing and who has been a member in good standing for a minimum period of three months before the date of commencement of the disciplinary hearing. You may call witnesses to make your defence and in mitigation of sanction and to produce supporting documents and to cross- examine witnesses called by the ANC for the prosecution of the charges.
“The disciplinary proceedings will be a one-stage inquiry, and you will also be required to lead evidence in mitigation of sanction if you so desire,” said the ANC.
In July this year, Niehaus was suspended by the ANC.
Last month, the ANC fired Niehaus for misconduct. The party said it would only engage Niehaus in the presence of his lawyers.
Niehaus referred to the latest letter from ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte. “After the secretary-general of the ANC Ace Magashule was forced to step aside after the so-called step aside resolution had been re-drafted no longer reflecting the resolution that was taken at the 54th National Conference of the ANC and managed to succeed through this re-draft new resolution to push Magashule to be suspended.
“Now Duarte, who serves to these powers, instructed Potgieter to get the junior guy to write me this letter of charges that are now once again in a rehashed fashion,” said Niehaus.
Niehaus asked for people to be patient because it is important to deal with these issues in detail to show the truth.
“The very same ANC, who has done nothing about vote-buying at the 54th National Conference, who have done nothing in instituting investigations and eventually disciplinary measures against those who have removed the relevant clause with regards to the fact that the constitution states that it is illegal to use money to influence the outcome of the elections.
“The same ANC who have failed to implement most of the resolutions of the conference and effectively decided to implement only some of those resolutions with specific reference to the so-called step aside resolution and re-wrote it in order to fit its purpose to target specifically those that disagrees with issues of economic policy and to Magashule.