Spokesperson of the MKMVA and senior employee in the office of the secretary-general of the ANC, Carl Niehaus. Picture: Matthews Baloyi/African News Agency (ANA)
Spokesperson of the MKMVA and senior employee in the office of the secretary-general of the ANC, Carl Niehaus. Picture: Matthews Baloyi/African News Agency (ANA)

Carl Niehaus not commenting on his pending suspension from ANC work

By Sihle Mavuso Time of article published Jan 22, 2021

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Johannesburg - Under fire spokesperson of the MKMVA and senior employee in the office of the secretary-general of the ANC, Carl Niehaus was not forthcoming on whether he had shown cause why he should not be suspended.

Niehaus was on Thursday expected to write to ANC general manager Febe Potgieter-Gqubule and show cause why he should not be suspended from his duties. This was after on January 14 he issued a press statement that lampooned the ruling party’s deputy secretary-general, Jessie Duarte.

Duarte had invited the wrath of Niehaus after she told JJ Tabane of eNCA that she wouldn’t respond to statements made by the MKMVA (uMkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association) spokesperson because he was “not an elected leader of the ANC”.

He felt Duarte was eroding his contribution to the struggle.

“I am saddened that even the deputy secretary-general of the ANC, comrade Jessie Duarte, saw it fit to attack me and undermine my long history as a 42-year veteran of the ANC in good standing, as well as my elected position as an NEC member of MKMVA, and MKMVA national spokesperson.

’’This she did, knowing that when she was doing so, I was gravely ill. It was unnecessary and callous – I am deeply saddened by it,” Niehaus wrote in the statement.

By doing so, the ANC said he has crossed the line, hence the intention to haul him over the coals.

Potgieter-Gqubule told him that his statement was in bad taste for an ANC employee working in a critical office.

“You have been advised, on more than one occasion, that your public statements and social media posts are unbecoming of someone working in this high office, which has the primary responsibility of driving and co-ordinating the work of all structures of the ANC. You also received a written warning to this effect on 12 October, 2019.

“The latest statement, titled ’Personal Statement by Carl Niehaus about his ongoing Recovery from Covid-19 Pneumonia', dated Thursday 14 January, 2021 ... crosses all boundaries expected from an ANC employee, and particularly someone of your seniority. In particular, the personal attack on the ANC deputy secretary-general in this statement is a serious violation of the ANC Personnel Policy Manual.

’’ANC staff members are expected to abide by the discipline of the organisation, and personal attacks by a member of staff on elected leadership – without even attempting to address the matter internally – is unprofessional, is not tolerated and is in violation of the manual,” reads part of the letter of intent to suspend Niehaus.

On Thursday Niehaus was unfazed, saying he was more concerned with getting better as advised by his doctors and could not say whether or not he had met the deadline.

“I am not making any further comment to the media. I have been told by my doctor to only concentrate on my health and trying to recuperate. I hope you will understand, and give me the space to do so,” he said.

ANC national spokesperson Pule Mabe could not confirm whether Niehaus had met the deadline or not. When called, he asked to be given time to prioritise the sudden passing of NEC member and Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu.

Political Bureau

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