African National Congress member Carl Niehaus does not owe Rhema money, the church said on Monday.
Spokesperson Vusi Mona in a statement clarified reports in the Star on Monday indicating that Niehaus owed the church R700 000.
”Mr Niehaus was once indebted to the church over property for which the church had stood as surety when he was its employee [and there is huge difference between standing as surety and actually loaning a person money].
”But that matter was settled immediately after Mr Niehaus had left the church’s employ,” Mona said.
He said the church was contacted by the Mail & Guardian, but it refused to ”be drawn into the story”. It also made it clear that Niehaus did not owe the church any money.
As a result of the revelations in the Mail & Guardian, criminal charges have been brought against Niehaus for allegedly forging the signatures of senior Gauteng officials, including former finance minister and current Premier Paul Mashatile, while he was at the Gauteng Economic Development Agency.
Niehaus told Talk Radio 702 that he was ”under severe pressure” with a debt, reported to be R700 000, that he owed the Rhema church.
He could have been sequestrated and his former wife could have lost her house. — Sapa