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Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) outcast Carl Niehaus’ future is looking dim after he was booted from the party last week.
However, Niehaus said it was not over for him.
“I will not take this lying down,” he said. “One doesn’t decide this lightly.”
He may have cemented his position on Wednesday after he laid a criminal complaint of fraud, theft and corruption against the party and its top six executives.
Niehaus said he had on record all the times he raised the issues with the ANC officials and senior management.
“They said I was making a nuisance of myself continuing to raise these issues,” Niehaus said.
“When going through a process like that, it eventually becomes evident that no response and action is being taken.
“At a point you say ‘we have given you a chance, you haven’t responded and now I have a responsibility to take thematter further to lay charges’,” he explained.
He said he was abruptly fired from his job after he indicated he was going to lay charges.
“It was an act of intimidation. How I was fired was entirely illegal and doesn’t meet any of conditions of the labour law,” Niehaus said.
He said he doesn’t think his political career has ended.
“Of course I’m feeling sad. It is not a nice feeling being treated like this by your party. I have been a member of the ANC for 42 years, even during the apartheid regime, I went to jail for the ANC.
“I love the ANC,” he said.
Niehaus said he will appeal his dismissal and if he didn’t succeed he would be taking the matter to court.
Political analyst Piet Croucamp said it was clear there was no political future or alternative function left for Niehaus at Luthuli House.
“The risk he runs through doing what he does is extremely low because he has nothing to lose,” he said.
Croucamp added that Niehaus hasn’t received a salary for a long time.
“He was supposed to have a certain position at Luthuli House but when [suspended secretary-general] Ace Magashule left, he just as well could not have returned for work because there is no work left for him,” Croucamp said.
He said Niehaus was Magashule’s henchman who took orders from his master’s patronage who was no longer there.
“I think part of his plan to take action against the ANC is hoping to somehow cash in on the unhappiness that exists at Luthuli House because employees were not being paid their salaries,” he said.
Last week the Democratic Alliance (DA) laid a charge with the South African Police Service (Saps) against the ANC over the party’s alleged failure to pay Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) contributions to the state.
DA shadow minister for employment and labour Dr Michael Cardo said Niehaus was late to take action against the party and the charges laid were opportunistic.
“It lacks a certain authenticity and seems to be sour grapes,” Cardo said.
“This follows a claim by disgruntled staffers at Luthuli House that since 2018 the ANC has been deducting UIF contributions from workers but not paying them over to the government.
“If true, this would constitute a criminal offence in terms of the Unemployment Insurance Contributions Act of 2002 and the Tax Administration Act of 2011,” Cardo said.
“As the ruling party, the ANC has a special duty to serve as an example to other employers. And as the ANC is being accused of criminal behaviour by its own staff members, the matter requires urgent investigation by Saps,” he said.