ANC spokesperson Niehaus steps down

The African National Congress (ANC) said on Friday spokesperson Carl Niehaus would step down after admitting to fraud in the latest corruption scandal to hit the party ahead of an election in April.

The ANC said it had agreed with Niehaus that he would vacate his post as media spokesperson and an alternative role would be found for him within the party.

Niehaus told South African radio stations he forged letters in a former government job and racked up hundreds of thousands of rand in debts to fund a lavish lifestyle.

He said ANC leaders were aware of his financial dealings when he was appointed party spokesperson in November and were helping him work out a plan to repay his debts.

The revelations come just over two months before a general election.

ANC leader Jacob Zuma is under investigation in a graft case.

“I’ve made serious mistakes ... I’ve dealt with it openly in the ANC for a number of years,” Niehaus told Talk 702 radio in an interview.

The ANC is expected to win the April 22 election, making Zuma president and extending its post-apartheid grip on politics in Africa’s biggest economy, but it faces its toughest competition from the breakaway Congress of the People party.—Reuters

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