Carl Niehaus threatens action against Good Party after he was linked to unrest instigation
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Durban - One of the people named in the “dossier” handed to the police by the Good Party as a member of the cabal that instigated the unrest and looting that started on July 11 this year has threatened his accusers with legal action.
Carl Niehaus, who is a prominent member of the Free Jacob Zuma campaign and a senior member of the RET (Radical Economic Transformation) forces, another ANC grouping supporting jailed former President Jacob Zuma, was named by the party’s secretary-general, Brett Herron, as having been a member of a WhatsApp group named "FREE ZUMA INFORMATION".
According to Herron, the WhatsApp group was started on July 8, 2021, and it was initially called “FREE ZUMA COORDINATORS.”
Notable members of this group when it started included Carl Niehaus and another senior ANC member from the Eastern Cape.
The senior Eastern Cape ANC member did not respond when he was asked about the allegations, but Niehaus dismissed them as “utter nonsense”.
Herron said they were helped by whistle-blowers to identify three WhatsApp groups, and they have since handed over that information to the police as they believe that these people instigated the unrest that rocked KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng for about a week shortly after Zuma was jailed.
"While the country has been focussed on 12 instigators, so-called Big Fish who have not been named and may or may not exist, the WhatsApp groups provide evidence of a number of people who acted with the common purpose of organising and instigating the violence and destruction," Herron said in a statement.
"According to the State, several key instigators have been arrested but there is little to indicate the extent or seniority of their involvement. The State's law-enforcement agencies must investigate these crimes without fear, faction or favour," Herron said.
According to Herron, the other two groups were “SHUTDOWN ETHEKWINI” and "INK SHUTDOWN 10/07/2021" WhatsApp group was set up on the morning of 9th July 2021.
While Herron claims that "INK" refers to Inanda, Ntuzuma and KwaMashu regions of the ANC, officially, INK is an Ethekwini municipality acronym for Inanda, Ntuzuma and KwaMashu and the ANC calls KwaMashu township alone as Curnick Ndlovu (a late ANC stalwart) zone.
Out of the 16 people Herron named, Independent Media was only able to verify the identities of three people.
Another person Herron called an instigator is a Zulu warrior whose known cellphone number does not have WhatsApp.
Taking on the Good party, Niehaus said their statement was “baseless”, and it could be that since President Cyril Ramaphosa was planning to reshuffle his Cabinet, Patricia De Lille, who leads the party and is a member of the Cabinet, could be trying to be seen on the side of the incumbent.
“Here are the facts: I was added to the group called Free Zuma Information, and that was without my knowledge. I left the group the moment I was alerted that their intentions were not something I know, not because I have abandoned President Zuma,” Niehaus explained.
He added that if Herron and his party have information about the WhatsApp group, as they claim, they would have known that he left with posting anything or commenting.
“This is utter nonsense, and cheap propaganda and I reject it with the contempt it deserves. They must not try to use my name to make a name for themselves as I will take the necessary actions if they continue with this,” he said.
The spokesperson of the Hawks, Colonel Katlego Mogale, did not comment when asked whether the Hawks did receive the dossier from Herron or not.