General Manager, African National Congress
Date: Thursday, 9 September 2021
Dear Comrade Febe Potgieter,
RE: LETTER THREATENING TO TERMINATE MY EMPLOYMENT CONTRACT WITHOUT FURTHER NOTICE
I have received your letter, as well as a media statement by the National Spokesperson of the ANC attacking me. Let me state at the outset that I write this letter in reply, without prejudice. This letter does not purport to respond to all and every issue relevant to your letter, and the said media statement by comrade Mabe. I reserve all my rights.
At this stage I wish to respond as follows:
I. The threat to terminate my employment with the ANC without further notice, and without a disciplinary hearing, is illegal.
2. 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.
3. I do not deny having issued a media statement yesterday evening (8 September 2021) announcing that it was my intention, together with some other ANC staff members, to lay criminal charges of theft, fraud, corruption, and various statutory crimes arising out of various statutory provisions, including the Unemployment Insurance Fund Act, the Pension Fund Act, the Pay As You Earn regulations, and the Income Tax Act. (I attach that media statement hereto as Appendix A). The media statement did not state at all that this intended action was on behalf of the ANC Staff Association, nor did it create that impression in any way whatsoever.
4. I furthermore also do not deny that I issued a media statement this morning postponing the intended action of laying the said criminal charges. This course of action the comrades who intended to lay the charges today, together with me, decided on, after I have had a discussion with comrade Vusi Mdala, of the ANC Staff Association, who have requested that we hold back for now with the action that we intended to take today.
We agreed to accommodate comrade Vusi's request that we give the urgent engagement that the Staff Association is scheduled to have with the National Office Bearers of the ANC today a chance to proceed, and that depending on the outcomes thereof, we will then decide what our further course of action will be. (I attach that media statement announcing the decision to postpone the laying of charges hereto as Appendix B).
5. I emphasize once again that neither of these two statements purported to be on behalf of the ANC Staff Association. The media statement by comrade Pule Mabe, claiming that this was the case is disingenuous, and blatantly false. For him trying to accuse me of fraud in this regard is libelous. His attempt to link our intention to lay criminal charges to the DA is disingenuous, and utter nonsense. There is no link whatsoever. Anyone who knows my liberation struggle history knows that I will never make common cause with the DA.
6. I am acting in my personal capacity as an employee, a. also together with other employees, who I cannot name as they will obviously be similarly victimized, and subjected to intimidation.
7. I am convinced that the draconian, illegal, measures threatened in your letter, and the unfounded allegations contained in the media statement by comrade Mabe are intended to intimidate other ANC staff members, who are similarly considering to lay criminal charges. You are no doubt aware that the possibility A such a course A action by the Staff Association is under discussion. The intimidatory sledge hammer that you have now brought out against me is intended to intimidate any other ANC staff members from taking a similar course of action.
8. In the meantime the callous harm that is inflicted on the ANC staff, and the consequences of the contraventions of the Pension Fund Act, continues to impact with devastating effect on the lives of the ANC staff, and their dependents, as well as family members of diseased ANC staff members who are desperately waiting for their Provident Fund payments. A sense of hopeless and despair grows on a daily basis.
9. I remain convinced that in having announced that I, and some other ANC staff members, intend to lay criminal charges, we are exercising our rights as citizens, and employees of the ANC, to seek any possible crime to be investigated. In fact I would be amiss not to do so, once I became A aware A apparent criminal activity.
In this instance the evidence of such crimes is inter alia contained in the deductions for UIF, Provident Fund and PAYE on our monthly ANC payslips. You, and the rest of the senior management of the ANC, including the National Office Bearers, as well as the respective statutory bodies responsible for administering the provisions of the Unemployment Insurance Fund Act, the Pension Fund Act, and the South African Revenue Services (SASS), are well aware of all of this.
10. I would have preferred to send my letter in reply to your letter on a confidential basis, as privileged and private internal staff correspondence. Unfortunately I am not given that decency and respect, because I note that in addition to the media statement by comrade Mabe (which is obviously public), your letter, as General Manager of the ANC, to me was already circulating on WhatsApp groups, and other social media platforms, even before I have received it.
1 I. I provide all of the above as reasons why, being dismissed summarily, would be fundamentally wrong, draconian and illegal.
Carl Gerhardus Niehaus