South Africa—The ANC has fired Umkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) spokesperson Carl Niehaus as a party employee over his public threat to lay charges against the party leadership because of the non-payment of salaries and benefits.
Niehaus, a keen supporter of former president Jacob Zuma and leaders of the radical economic transformation (RET) faction in the governing party, had previously received a number of written warnings from the ANC over his public statements and actions.
The former political prisoner had been employed at Luthuli house under the office of suspended secretary-general Ace Magashule and, earlier this week threatened court action against party bosses on behalf of striking staff members.
ANC employees have staged protests and industrial action after the party’s failure to pay their salaries and benefits since June.
On Wednesday, Niehaus issued a statement –threatening to lay charges against the party’s top six leaders for theft, fraud, and failure to pay unemployment insurance Fund benefits to ANC to staff.
The move incensed the ANC leadership, and on Thursday morning general manager Febe Potgieter wrote to Niehaus, giving him until 4 pm to provide reasons why he should not be fired.
“It has come to our attention that you issued a press release inviting the media to witness the laying of criminal charges of theft, fraud, corruption, and various statutory crimes, against the national office bearers of the ANC’. As your employer the ANC would like you to provide it with reasons why it should not summarily dismiss you,” Potgeiter said.
A failure to meet the deadline “will result in the immediate termination of your employment contract without further notice,” Potgeiter added.
In a letter responding to the general manager, Niehaus said that the threat to terminate his employment without notice or a disciplinary hearing was illegal.