Niehaus acted on our instruction, says MKMVA
Share this article:
DURBAN - THE uMkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) has charged at the ANC, accusing the ruling party of selectively targeting and isolating its spokesperson and ANC stalwart Carl Niehaus.
The association was responding to the ANC NEC after the suspension of Niehaus, who has been accused by his party of making “inflammatory” statements during the Nkandla gathering, which was attended by ANC members and supporters of former president Jacob Zuma.
In a letter addressed to the ANC NEC, the association said it had deployed Niehaus to Nkandla at the instruction of the veterans and hailed him for his role in providing leadership and ensuring that there was control, peace, and discipline among the MKMVA members who had been camping outside Zuma’s house.
“Our MKMVA NEC believes that comrade Niehaus should be lauded for all these acts of responsible and exceptional leadership he played during the period of July 2 to 4.”
The association played down the accusations that Niehaus had made inflammatory remarks, arguing that he had saved the ANC NEC a potentially embarrassing situation because of lack of ANC leadership and “consequent leadership vacuum” during the height of a much-needed leadership in Nkandla. This was required when supporters descended on Nkandla to support Zuma who had been instructed to hand himself over to the correctional facility to serve his 15 months’ imprisonment for contempt of court.
Meanwhile, Niehaus challenged his suspension on Tuesday and argued that the ANC National Disciplinary Committee of Appeal should set aside the temporary suspension pending the outcome of his appeal.
“I contend that no reasons whatsoever exist that there are any exceptional circumstances that justified my temporary suspension, nor for it to have been implemented in haste and with immediate effect.
“I, furthermore, submit that the reasons contained in the notice, signed by the deputy secretary-general of the ANC, comrade Jessie Duarte, is demonstrably false.
“It is furthermore not true that I am responsible for the current volatile political situation in the country or that my so-called incendiary speeches have aided and abetted the situation.
“These allegations are not based on any facts, real or prima facie. There is no factual or legal basis for these allegations,” read Niehaus’ statement to the ANC.
The allegations were a fabrication, deliberately constructed to advance the false narrative of the argument that “exceptional circumstances” exist to justify the temporary suspension of his ANC membership, he said.
Niehaus added that he tried to instil order and appeal to people not to block roads, and this was captured on national television and broadcast live by the media.
“The evidence is that I successfully managed to negotiate with the police and resolved the situation.
“It is unjust that I should be silenced and punished for actually assisting in avoiding what could have easily become a bloodbath.”
ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe did not respond to questions from the Daily News.