Pack your bags and go: ANC fires Carl Niehaus

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Pack your bags and go: ANC fires Carl Niehaus

He has until 11am on Friday morning to collect all his belongings from the party’s Luthuli House headquarters

Journalist
Disbanded MKMVA spokesperson and Luthuli House staffer Carl Niehaus has been fired.
OUT ON HIS EAR Disbanded MKMVA spokesperson and Luthuli House staffer Carl Niehaus has been fired.
Image: SANDILE NDLOVU

The ANC has fired controversial staffer Carl Niehaus.

Niehaus, a staunch supporter of both suspended ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule and former president Jacob Zuma, has until 11am on Friday morning to collect all his belongings from the party’s Luthuli House headquarters.

He had been employed on the sixth floor of Luthuli House in the secretary-general’s office.

Sunday Times Daily has seen the dismissal letter, which was sent to Niehaus on Thursday evening by ANC general manager Febe Potgieter.

In the letter, Potgieter tells Niehaus that he has been dismissed “summarily” after failing to provide sufficient reasons why he should not be fired.

Niehaus was earlier on Thursday asked to provide reasons why he should not be fired, after he threatened to lay criminal charges on behalf of the party’s disgruntled workers against the ANC top six - which includes party president Cyril Ramaphosa - over nonpayment of provident and pension funds, as well as UIF.

Potgieter says in her letter to Niehaus: “In your written representations you have not provided any cogent reasons for the ANC to arrive at any conclusion other than that the employment relationship between you and the organisation has completely and irretrievably broken down.

“Accordingly, this letter serves as notice of your summary dismissal as an employee of the ANC. You can collect your personal belongings from ANC security at Luthuli House tomorrow between 10am and 11am.”

Potgieter further stated that instead of providing reasons why he should not be fired, Niehaus chose to view the opportunity as an attack on him.

“Your written representations have been considered against the backdrop that the ANC has repeatedly warned you about your public pronouncements and conduct which sought to undermine it as your employer. You nonetheless persisted with conduct that continuously brought your employer into disrepute,” Potgieter says.

The short notice of a mere two and a half hours to provide reasons why I should not be dismissed summarily is draconian, and most unreasonable.
Carl Niehaus

“On October 12 2020 and January 19 2021, you were issued with written warnings for behaviour which demonstrated your total disregard, refusal and neglect to comply with the terms of your employment agreement with the ANC and which conduct was inconsistent with the code of conduct and level of discipline expected of staff members of the ANC.”

Earlier, responding to the letter demanding reasons why he shouldn’t be dismissed, Niehaus took issue with, among other things, the short time frame he was given to respond to the party.

“The threat to terminate my employment with the ANC without further notice, and without a disciplinary hearing is illegal,” he said. “The short notice of a mere two and a half hours to provide reasons why I should not be dismissed summarily is draconian, and most unreasonable. It is contrary to all the laws of natural justice. It is my contention that this is constructive dismissal.”

This is not the first time Niehaus has found himself at odds with his organisation and employer, the ANC.

He was suspended from the party in July for bringing it into disrepute over his remarks outside the home of Zuma where he, representing the disbanded Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association, essentially threatened violence ahead of Zuma’s arrest.

In that 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.

He has also been accused of bringing the party into disrepute and continuously disrespecting the ANC under the leadership of Ramaphosa.

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