ANC gives Carl Niehaus until 4pm to explain why he should not be fired
The ANC has taken the fight to Carl Niehaus, telling him that he has until 4pm on Thursday to explain why he should not be fired.
This comes after Niehaus earlier on Thursday threatened to file criminal charges against the ANC top six, which includes party president Cyril Ramaphosa, on behalf of Luthuli House staff over the nonpayment of salaries and UIF.
He later sent another statement, saying court process would be held off until negotiations between staff and management have been concluded.
In a letter from ANC general manager Febe Potgieter, which TimesLIVE has seen, Niehaus is given the 4pm deadline to state reasons why he shouldn't be fired — failing which, his employment would be terminated.
Potgieter says in the letter that Niehaus has not done anything to distance himself from the statement, which also invited the media to witness him laying theft, corruption and fraud charges against the top six.
“At the time of writing this letter you have not distanced yourself from the press release which has your name and number. As your employer, the ANC would like you to provide it with the reasons why it should not summarily dismiss you.
“You have until 4pm this afternoon to furnish the ANC (through the office of the general manager) with the requested reasons and a failure to do so will result in the immediate termination of your employment contract without further notice,” Potgieter says in the letter.
This is not the first time Niehaus has found himself at odds with his organisation and employer, the ANC.
He was suspended from the ANC in July for bringing the party into disrepute over his remarks outside the home of former president Jacob Zuma where he, representing the disbanded Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association, essentially threatened violence ahead of Zuma's arrest.
In the letter, ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte told Niehaus he was suspended with immediate effect as the party believed he would continue with acts of misconduct.
Niehaus has seemingly done exactly that, as he has now threatened to lay charges against the party on behalf of the staff.
ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe said he had been told by staff that Niehaus was not representing them. He said Niehaus was divisive, opportunistic and anti-ANC.
“The latest is his personal statement purported to be made on behalf of ANC staff announcing that he would be laying criminal charges regarding the salary matter,” Mabe said on Thursday.
“The ANC has interacted with staff representatives and [they] have unequivocally confirmed that Carl Niehaus does not represent them nor does he have the mandate to act on their behalf. His desperate lust for publicity and his latest withdrawal of the said fraudulent statement does not augur well with Carl’s self-claimed credentials as a decorated freedom fighter.”
Mabe said the ANC would be taking action against Niehaus, who he accused of bringing the party into disrepute. He said Niehaus has been consistently attacking and undermining the ANC under the leadership of Ramaphosa.
“We find the behaviour of Carl, who appears more on public and social media platforms, to be divisive, opportunistic and devoid of revolutionary discipline.
“Coincidentally, Carl has elected to apply the tactics of one desperate opposition party lacking a clear programme for the upcoming local government elections and pinning their hopes on a liquidated ANC. Carl had initially and consciously chosen to follow the DA's example and leadership in laying charges against an organisation he claims to be his own.
“He is most welcome to share with the public his most recent official duties as an employee deserving of compensation,” Mabe said.