Carl Niehaus Picture: Karen Sandison/African News Agency (ANA)
Carl Niehaus Picture: Karen Sandison/African News Agency (ANA)

ANC confirms suspension of Carl Niehaus

By Ntombi Nkosi Time of article published Jul 7, 2021

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Johannesburg - The ANC has confirmed the suspension of its member and Umkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) spokesperson, Carl Niehaus, with immediate effect.

This was a decision taken by the ANC’s National Executive Committee (NEC).

A letter from the ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte said Niehaus’s utterances at Nkandla over the weekend brought the party into disrepute and, therefore, the party decided to suspend his membership.

“The NEC has noted with concern your inflammatory speeches made outside the home of former president Jacob Zuma at Nkandla, KwaZulu-Natal over the weekend of 2 to 4 July 2021 and which were broadcast live on national television and has come to the conclusion that such utterances brought the ANC into disrepute.

“Moreover, you were clad in a T-shirt bearing the ANC logo when you appeared on television,” Duarte said.

Duarte said the NEC has resolved that such conduct contravened Rule 25.17 of the ANC constitution.

ANC national spokesperson Pule Mabe confirmed that the ANC wrote a letter to Niehaus, which was leaked earlier today.

Mabe was giving the media an update on the developments in the ANC on Wednesday.

“Writing a letter like this to comrade Niehaus is not something that would have come easily. There would have been a number of instances where the NEC would have expressed itself on what it thought was a deliberate attempt to liquidate the role of the leadership in society,” Mabe said.

In using Rule 25.9 of the ANC Constitution, the NEC had decided to institute disciplinary action against Niehaus within 30 days.

“Such disciplinary hearings will be adjudicated by the National Disciplinary Committee of the ANC. The Chief National Presenter, Uriel Abrahamse, will be formulating and serving a charge sheet on you in due course setting out details of the charges and your rights as a member,” the letter read.

Mabe said the ANC will never purge any of its members for displaying support for an individual leader of the ANC. The people of South Africa have freedom of movement, you can’t tell the members where to go and where not to go, he said.

“The message we send out is that during Covid-19, where possible, we should avoid large gatherings, we should at all times maintain social distance, put on masks when in public so that we can protect lives. But the ANC will not hesitate to act against action that seeks to undermine standing in society, liquidate the leadership of the ANC and take away our responsibility to lead the people of this country,” said Mabe.

Mabe said when the ANC takes decisions to act in such cases, it makes sure it also communicates this with society. This is the first of many other actions that the ANC will be taking where there are acts of ill-discipline, said Mabe.

Mabe said the statement issued on Tuesday through ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte had made clear that the Provincial Executive Committee (PEC) in KwaZulu-Natal would have to conduct investigations into acts of ill-discipline involving ANC members, so that the necessary action could be taken.

“This is not part of purging, it is part of our overall efforts to drive forward a unity and renewal of the ANC, a mandate that has been given by ourselves in the 54th National Conference.

“When we return this organisation back to its rightful owners, the members of the ANC, it must be strong, healthy and committed to still champion the cause of the people of South Africa,” said Mabe.

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