The African National Congress (ANC) has refused to weigh in on a notice of intention to suspend letter issued to its member Carl Niehaus for comments he made about the party’s deputy secretary general, Jessie Duarte.
“The ANC had not distributed or disseminated the letter out to the media. So it is an unfortunate incident that the letter, through some means and ways, found its way out there. So we do not wish to talk about the merits and demerits of the letter,” the ANC’s spokesperson Pule Mabe said in an interview with eNCA.
In the leaked letter, the ANC’s General Manager Febe Potgieter-Gcubule said Niehaus’ utterances were unbecoming of someone working at Luthuli House.
“You have been advised, on more than one occasion, that your public statements and social media posts, are unbecoming of someone working in this high office, which has the primary responsibility of driving and coordinating the work of all structures of the ANC. You also received a written warning to this effect, on 12 October 2019,” the letter read.
What did Carl Niehaus say about ANC DSG Jessie Duarte?
This all comes a week after Niehaus had penned a personal letter in which he spoke about his battle with COVID-19 – and in the same breath – accused Duarte of attacking him and undermining his history as a member of the rulling party.
“I am saddened that even the Deputy Secretary General of the ANC, comrade Jessie Duarte, saw it fit to attack me, and undermine my long history as a 42 year veteran of the ANC in good standing, as well as my elected position as an NEC member of MKMVA, and MKMVA National Spokesperson. This she did, knowing that when she was doing so, I was gravely ill. It was unnecessary and callous – I am deeply saddened by it,” Niehaus said.
Potgieter-Gcubule has labelled Niehaus’ comments as a “personal attack” on Duarte and has also given him 48 hours to explain why he should not be suspended on full pay – pending disciplinary action into his conduct.
“In particular, the personal attack on the ANC Deputy Secretary General in this statement is a serious violation of the ANC Personnel Policy Manual. ANC staff members are expected to abide by the discipline of the organisation, and personal attacks by a member of staff on elected leadership – without even attempting to address the matter internally – is unprofessional, is not tolerated and is in violation of the Manual”
ANC General Manager Febe Potgieter-Gqubule