Comrade Carl quits ANC

Former ANC spokesperson Carl Niehaus has resigned from his position within the ruling party, the ANC said on Tuesday.

“The African National Congress has been informed of the resignation of Carl Niehaus from his position within the organisation. The ANC accepts his resignation,” national spokesperson Jessie Duarte said on Tuesday evening.

Duarte said the party received a letter from Niehaus’ lawyer, Ian Small Smith, indicating his desire to resign from his position as an ANC employee. However, he remained a loyal member of the party.

“Carl was not an elected member of the party, he was not on the NEC [National Executive Committee] ... he was employed by the party in a functionary role,” she said.

Duarte added that the notification the party received from Smith said Niehaus would like the media to respect his privacy and that of his family. It also said he would receive counselling on managing his debt.

Attempts to reach Niehaus and his attorney for further comment on Tuesday evening were unsuccessful.

Niehaus’ resignation follows a statement by the NEC on Tuesday indicating that they had placed him on a “leave of absence”.

On Friday, the party accepted his resignation as spokesperson but indicated that it would redeploy him to another role within the organisation.

However, the party opted to place him on leave after realising he had “withheld” information about his financial dealings, spokesperson Lindiwe Zulu said.

“There is quite a number of things that Carl himself did not tell the ANC when he came about to say I have a problem.

“Carl did declare some parts but he did not declare everything. He withheld information from the ANC. The ANC took him on the basis that he declared what had happened and now as the things are coming out and tumbling out the ANC itself is realising there was more to it than what he had given us,” Zulu said at Luthuli House—the party’s headquarters—in Johannesburg.

Duarte also conceded that the Niehaus matter had done “some damage” to the party but added what was important was the way it had moved forward.

“We can’t deny the fact that it has had some damage but the bottom line is it’s about what we do about it once we know about it and we know that most of the people that are going to be voting for the ANC know that we are committed to a clean government.”

“We are committed to making sure that such things that have happened with Comrade Carl do not happen ... that’s the bottom line for us, what do we do about it and I think the NWC has taken action by discussing it and taking very concrete decisions around what to do about it,” Duarte said.

Owning up
In Friday’s M&G report Niehaus was confronted with allegations that he owed hundreds of thousands of rands to politicians and influential businessmen, and committed fraud while working for the Gauteng government. A tearful Niehaus admitted to the paper that he:

  • Forged signatures while he was chief executive of the Gauteng Economic Development Agency (Geda) before resigning in December 2005;

  • Borrowed money over a six-year period from some of the brightest stars of the ANC and business galaxy, much of which he has not paid back;

  • Asked to be connected to Brett Kebble because he was “desperate for financial help”;

  • Had to leave a top job at Deloitte & Touche in 2003 after his financial woes became embarrassing;

  • Had to repay R24 000 to Director General in the Presidency Frank Chikane when he left his job there under a cloud in 2004.
- Sapa

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