ANC in KwaZulu-Natal used Zuma and then discarded him, says Niehaus

The provincial leaders used Zuma’s popularity to further their political careers, according to expelled cadre Carl Niehaus

ANC in KwaZulu-Natal used Zuma and then discarded him, says Niehaus

Former MK military veterans spokesperson Carl Niehaus, who is a staunch supporter of former president Jacob Zuma, on Monday lashed out at the ANC KwaZulu-Natal leadership for “abandoning” Zuma.

Shortly after its election last year, the ANC KwaZulu-Natal provincial executive committee (PEC) pledged to rally behind Zuma during his court appearances.

But none of the PEC members were present to lend Zuma that support during his appearance in connection with the arms deal corruption case, which was heard at the Pietermaritzburg high court on Monday. 

Speaking to The Witness shortly after the court postponed the matter to August 15, Niehaus, who was expelled from the ANC last year, said the failure of the ANC top brass to attend the former president’s case amounted to “duplicity”.

“They said it in public … they told the whole world that they will support president Zuma.

“But, where are they today [Monday]? What has become apparent is that they used president Zuma’s popularity to get elected to top positions during last year’s provincial conference.

“And now that they got what they wanted, they have disappeared,” he said.

During last year’s provincial conference, which saw the election of the current ANC KwaZulu-Natal leaders, Zuma supporters threw their weight behind the provincial top brass.

To appease key Zuma supporters, such as the Musa Dladla region chairperson Musa Cebekhulu, whose region pushed for the adoption of a resolution for the ANC to support Zuma during his court appearances at the provincial conference, the newly-elected ANC provincial leadership vowed to stand by Zuma.

ANC KwaZulu-Natal provincial secretary Bheki Mtolo said at the time: “The ANC as an organisation should show full and massive support to president Zuma and must intervene to put this matter [the arms deal corruption case] to rest to allow president Zuma a befitting retirement.” 

But Niehaus said the ANC provincial leadership was merely “paying lip service”.

“It was a mirage,” he said.

Mtolo said on Monday that Niehaus should not involve himself in ANC matters. “Carl Niehaus is not a member of the ANC. I won’t glorify him by responding to whatever he says.”

Zuma’s fresh court application to remove Downer

Zuma on Monday made a fresh application seeking the removal of the lead prosecutor in the arms deal case, Billy Downer.

Zuma, who claims that Downer should be stripped of his title to prosecute in the matter on the basis that Downer is biased, has previously failed in his attempts to have the courts, including the constitutional court, remove him.

In his latest attempt, Zuma is arguing that the veteran prosecutor should not be allowed to continue as the lead in the trial because he is facing criminal charges.

This was after Zuma initiated private proceedings against Downer, accusing him of leaking his medical report to News24 senior journalist, Karyn Maughan.

Both Downer and Maughan have made an application for Zuma’s private prosecution to be halted.

According to the duo, the medical report which Zuma claims was leaked was already a public document when it was sent to Maughan.

It has also emerged that a member of the prosecuting team, and not Downer, sent the document to Maughan.

Judge Nkosinathi Chili presided over Monday’s proceedings following the recusal of the previous judge in the case, Piet Koen.

This article was first published in The Witness

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