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Niehaus given a warrior’s name

INJEJE yabeNguni Council, gives Niehaus the warrior name “Mpangazitha”. Image: Doctor Ngcobo/African News Agency(ANA

INJEJE yabeNguni Council, gives Niehaus the warrior name “Mpangazitha”. Image: Doctor Ngcobo/African News Agency(ANA

Published Mar 15, 2022

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The former spokesperson of the disbanded Umkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA​) has been bestowed with a warrior name by the INJEJE yabeNguni Council.

Carl Niehaus was given the name “Mpangazitha” due to his working in the Struggle and fight for liberation against the apartheid regime.

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The name, which in Zulu translates to “he over-eats his enemies”, comes at a time when Niehaus’s Umkhonto weSizwe (MK) credentials have been questioned.

The council said that from a young age Niehaus chose to stand with native South Africans against great odds.

“Mpangazitha did this as a young Afrikaner with all the options of privilege while many who occupy senior government positions today were nowhere to be seen,” said the council.

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They added that the name has traditionally been given to Nguni people who have demonstrated by actions of valour that they are part of the warrior community.

“Mr Niehaus has earned his stripes as per Nguni standard to be officially given a warrior name, which unites him with the native people of Africa for all eternity,” said the council.

Last week, Niehaus appeared before the database verification, cleansing and enhancement work stream (DVCE_WS) to establish his bona fides for inclusion in the Military Veterans database.

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After his interview, retired General Enoch Mashoala said that Niehaus failed the verification test in East London, Eastern Cape.

Former MK combatant Phumlani “Ntsimbi” Kubukeli in a letter confirmed that Niehaus conducted intelligence work and helped skip young men out of the country to join the ANC.

“This makes Carl an ANC underground operative,” Kubukeli said.

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He said that his activities qualified Niehaus as an MK internal operative and that he had contact with MK structures who received the recruits he convoyed.

“It further shows that the guilty verdict of Carl was not erroneous because he had contact with MK structures who he was going to provide with reconnaissance data to. The activities for which Carl was sentenced appear to be indeed, MK related activities,” he said.

Kubukeli cautioned that the Military Veterans database is very delicate and must not be used to settle scores and that sacrifices made by persons to the struggle for freedom should not be undermined no matter how opinionated people are about them

Advocate Dali Mpofu also came to the defence of Niehaus on Twitter saying that his law firm represented him as political prisoner who had operated in the ANC and Umkhonto we Sizwe underground like many in the 1980s.

“He was jailed for engaging in active combat unlike many who apparently ’qualify’ as MK veterans purely for having been ’trained’!” read Mpofu’s tweet.

Niehaus was arrested in 1983 and sentenced to prison for 15 years of which he spent 10 on a charge of treason, for his work in the ANC.

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