NEWS & ANALYSIS

ANC must expel Niehaus - DA

The official opposition urges the Gauteng Premier to lay criminal charges

DA urges ANC to expel Carl Niehaus; considers legal action

In light of the ANC spokesperson Carl Niehaus's confession today that he abused his previous positions in government for personal gain, with the governing party's knowledge and without any legal action being taken against him, we call on the ANC to terminate Niehaus's party membership with immediate effect.

Throughout his long career Mr. Niehaus has on many occasions got away with his dishonesty by offering to resign from his positions without facing the legal consequences for his actions. It will not be enough for the ANC to let him go away with a resignation letter again. The governing party must do the right thing and expel him. If it does not do so, it will reaffirm the perception that it tolerates corruption.

We also urge the Premier of Gauteng, Paul Mashatile, to lay charges against Niehaus for forging the signatures of four provincial MECs, including Mashatile, in a letter committing the Gauteng Provincial Government to favour the businessman who gave Niehaus a personal loan.  The Democratic Alliance (DA) will also consider laying charges against Premier Mashatile in terms of the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act for failing to report Niehaus to the police for forging signatures, as he was required to do in terms of the law.

The Niehaus case epitomizes the ANC's closed, crony system in action; whereby senior ANC leaders abuse their government positions to pressure the business community to sponsor their extravagant lifestyles in return for favours in the awarding of government tenders.

The ANC saw nothing wrong with appointing Mr. Niehaus as its spokesperson, despite his disclosure about his tainted past. This gives us every reason to believe that the party is not serious about tackling corruption in its ranks.

Statement by Democratic Alliance national spokesperson, Mtlatjo Thetjeng, MP, February 13 2009