The ANC has suspended Carl Niehaus from the ruling part with immediate effect a day later after he, in effect, showed the party’s national executive committee (NEC) the middle finger.
Now the NEC has hit back at Niehaus – who is the spokesperson of the now-disbanded Umkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA).
Just minutes after the ANC’s announcement, however, Niehaus said he intended to appeal the party’s decision “with immediate effect”, and that he was still a “dedicated liberation fighter”.
In a letter sent to Niehaus, the NEC explained that it was concerned with his “inflammatory speeches” made outside of former President Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla homestead in KwaZulu-Natal this past the weekend.
The party’s decision-making committee said Niehaus’s comments had “brought the ANC into disrepute”.
“Moreover, you were clad in a T-shirt bearing the ANC logo when you appeared on television.
“The NEC has resolved that such conduct was in contravention of Rule 25.17 of the ANC Constitution, in particular rules 25.17.4; 25.17.5; 25.17.7 and 25.1710, and warranted disciplinary action,
“In terms of the powers vested in it in accordance with Rule 25.9 of the ANC Constitution, the NEC has decided to institute disciplinary action against you within 30 days,” the party said the letter.
It said the NEC also resolved to temporarily suspend Niehaus’s ANC membership pending the disciplinary proceedings, which will be heard by the party’s National Disciplinary Committee.
“The Chief National Presenter, comrade 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 NEC has also decided to temporarily suspend your membership in accordance with Rule 25.56 of the ANC Constitution pending the institution of disciplinary proceedings.
“The NEC has a reasonable apprehension that you will likely continue with your acts of misconduct and cause further damage to the good name and reputation of the ANC thereby bringing the organisation into more disrepute.
“Consequently, in the current volatile political situation in the country, aided and abetted by your incendiary speeches, the NEC has come to the conclusion that exceptional circumstances exist which justify that your temporary suspension come into operation with immediate effect (from the date of receipt of this letter) in accordance with Rule 25.60 of the ANC Constitution and that the seriousness of your transgressions and misconduct,” it further said.