DURBAN - EMBATTLED Umkhonto we Sizwe national spokesperson Carl Niehaus has instructed his lawyers to file papers in the Labour Court to force the ANC to pay his salary.
This after the party failed to respond to several letters of demand that were written to it by Niehaus’s legal team. The papers were expected to be filed on Thursday.
Speaking to Daily News on Thursday, Niehaus said the ANC had been ignoring letters sent to it by his legal team to resolve the matter amicably, so he had instructed his attorneys to file papers because he had no other option.
On Tuesday, Phosa Loots Attorneys, which listed former ANC treasurer-general and Mpumalanga premier Dr Mathew Phosa and Jaco Loots as directors, wrote a follow-up letter to the ANC Luthuli House manager Febe Potgieter reminding her about the letter they wrote to her on December 24 and January 3 about the same matter.
The letter, which the Daily News has seen, reads: “We note that despite your undertakings you have neither furnished our offices with a copy of our client’s employment contract, nor made payment of the outstanding salaries due and payable to our client.
“Our client is severely prejudiced as a result thereof and particularly in preparation of his statement of claim. We look to hearing from you, failing which, we hold strict instructions to approach the Labour Court and the Department of Labour respectively.”
The attorneys further warned that they would seek punitive cost orders against the ANC in court. The legal firm had given a deadline of 12pm on Tuesday, but Niehaus said the letter was not responded to.
On Wednesday they wrote another letter informing the party that he was proceeding with legal action. They repeated this on Thursday.
“They have been promising to come back to me but they kept quiet, so I have instructed my attorney. They are doing this to me deliberately and they are vindictive, because they want to dismiss me, but the matter is still (unresolved), so until that is resolved I am still employed by the ANC and need to be paid my salary,” said Niehaus.
He added that the party owed him five months’ salary, saying when the party finally paid other staff, it did not do the same for him, which he suspected was due to vindictiveness.
Niehaus had long fallen out of favour with the ANC leadership after the party took a resolution to disband the Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association, which he vehemently opposed.
Since then, he has been publicly opposed to President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Apart from that, he is in the RET faction which unapologetically supports former president Jacob Zuma.
During Zuma’s arrest in July, Niehaus was arrested the following day after addressing a group of ANC supporters outside Estcourt Correctional facility where Zuma was kept.
He was charged for breaking Covid-19 protocols which at that time prohibited gatherings.