Travel agent tells of Niehaus’s debts

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may 3 carl niehaus INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS (File photo) Carl Niehaus resigned from his ANC post in 2009 after confessing to questionable financial practices. Photo: Phill Magakoe

The ANC says it has no knowledge that former ANC spin doctor Carl Niehaus is up for a top job with the party.

And the disgraced former spokesman, who told Talk Radio 702’s John Robbie on Wednesday that he had paid off all his debts, was taken to task by a travel agent who said he owed her R75 000.

Since his interview with Robbie it has emerged that:

* His claim to have paid off his debts have been challenged by the travel agent, and by a deputy minister, who says he has made no attempt to repay loans.

* The ANC communications team says it has no idea of what Niehaus is talking about regarding his expectation of a top ANC job soon.

Cheryl Clur, owner of the East London-based travel agency Let’s Travel, said Niehaus had played on her sympathies to secure a R100 000 holiday to Mauritius for his family several years ago.

Soon after he had booked the five-star 10-day holiday in the mid-2000s, Niehaus told her he was ill with leukaemia and that he was struggling to secure the money from overseas, Clur said.

“Ethically, I thought he would never let me down,” she said.

Eighteen months later, after she had tracked Niehaus down at his position within the Rhema Church, Clur eventually managed to get a R25 000 payment from him.

But years later, she claims he hasn’t paid a single cent more.

Clur said the travel agency, which has numerous clients within the ANC, was almost bankrupted by the Niehaus account.

After the radio interview the ANC’s Deputy Minister of Science and Technology Derek Hanekom replied to the claims, saying on Twitter that they are “not quite true”.

“He (Niehaus) has not made any attempt to repay loans he obtained,” Hanekom tweeted.

ANC communications manager Keith Khoza and party spokesman Jackson Mthembu were just as confused by the employment claim as those listening to the interview.

“We are not aware of that,” Khoza said.

Niehaus said in his interview on Talk Radio 702 on Wednesday that after three years in the political wilderness he was back on track after his embarrassing resignation as ANC spin doctor.

He claimed that he had paid off his debts, made peace with the allegations of fraud he faced and now believed a formal position within the ANC was in his near future.

Cape Argus

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