Niehaus and Hanekom scrum over splinter party accusations
Johannesburg - A mud-slinging war erupted between ANC cadres Carl Niehaus and Derek Hanekom this week after Niehaus accused top ANC members of attacking, threatening and trying to intimidate him.
Niehaus, who posted an 11-minute video on his personal YouTube account on Wednesday, called out Hanekom and others for accusing him of leading a splinter party within the ANC.
He challenged his accusers, who he named as Minister of Transport Fikile Mbalula, Justice Minister Ronald Lamola and ANC national executive committee members Joel Netshitenzhe and Hanekom, to prove him wrong after accusing them of betraying the party.
The MKMVA spokesperson said he had “nothing to fear” and he was only defending the Radical Economic Transformation resolutions of the 2017 ANC conference.
A visibly annoyed Niehaus took to his personal YouTube page named “In My Crosshairs” to accuse the high-profile members of the ANC of peddling “propaganda narrative”.
But, speaking to Independent Media on Thursday, Hanekom claimed Niehaus was the attacker in this scenario.
“I would not be surprised if disciplinary action is taken against [Niehaus] after this,” Hanekom said.
Niehaus said that in the video he was addressing those named members as well as “whoever else within the ANC who think that they are special”.
“Now my dear comrades, look me carefully in the eye. You are not going to intimidate me, you are not going to threaten me, you are not going to try and push me or any other comrades aside. I've been around for too long.
“I will unashamedly and proudly go out and defend the Freedom Charter. I unashamedly and proudly defend the resolutions of the 54th conference of the ANC. I will not waiver to describe Radical Economic Transformation as the official policy of the ANC,” Niehaus said.
Niehaus has long denied the existence of a Radical Economic Transformation grouping within the ANC, however, some leaders, including Netshitenzhe and Hanekom warned that Niehaus was a leading figure in the grouping.
Earlier on Wednesday, Niehaus again denied the existence of the grouping when he was interviewed on Newzroom Afrika.
Niehaus told the channel that he was not the spokesperson for the RET grouping and that there was no RET grouping in the ANC.
In his video, Niehaus also accused his fellow ANC members of throwing their weight around by attacking, intimidating and threatening others within the party with disciplinary hearings.
“I am not about to betray the ANC … just because you think you can throw your weight around. You see, Comrade Joel, I believe in the Freedom Charter. I believe in the principles set out in the Freedom Charter for Radical Economic Transformation.
“I also believe in the resolutions that were passed at the 54th ANC conference in 2017. Despite your best efforts, despite the misrepresentations you tried to commit at the policy conference before our national conference where you misrepresented and discussed with the media while the discussions were still going on inside the conference, despite all of that, despite your denialism of White Monopoly Capital, RET policy positions and resolutions had been passed which is in line with the freedom charter,” Niehaus directed to Netshitenzhe.
He also accused Netshitenzhe of using his articles in the Daily Maverick to attack him.
“You will not get me to agree with you. You represent yourself as the so-called policy guru.
You drank from the poisonous cup of white monopoly capital,” Niehaus said.
Netshitenzhe asked for the reporter to text him but did not respond to the questions sent to him.
Niehaus also accused Hanekom of working with the EFF to unseat a President.
“He is a pathological, compulsive liar and a self-confessed fraudster,” Hanekom slammed back.
He said that while Niehaus may deny the existence of another faction, “there is definitely a grouping mobilising people within the ANC”.
“I don’t know who the people are but they are mobilising others. It doesn’t exist in terms of the structures of the ANC but there certainly is a grouping of people working outside the formal structures of the ANC.
“And who they are paid by, I don’t know,” Hanekom said.
In his address specifically to Mbalula, Niehaus accused him of initiating “personalised, vicious” attacks against fellow ANC members. He also accused other “comrades” of instructing ANC members of Parliament to vote in favour of a DA motion, “to break the ANC constitution”.
“I am not one who especially got rules and regulations formulated in Parliament in order to get rid of an incumbent Public Protector,” he said.
In his conclusion of the 11-minute video, Niehaus said that he was committed to the principles and programmes of the ANC and challenged those he mentioned to prove him wrong in his statements.
“Yes, I work in the office of the Secretary-General. I am not busy trying to create some separate grouping or faction or different political party as the propaganda narrative that you guys are trying to peddle. I am doing none of that. I am simply just committed to the principles and the policy programmes of the ANC. I challenge you, each one of you, Comrade Derek, Comrade Fikile, Comrade Joel, all of you to prove me wrong in what I just said,” Niehaus concluded his video.