- MKMVA spokesperson Carl Niehaus has denied that the Radical Economic Transformation grouping exists.
- Niehaus has been organising press conferences for the grouping, which he says will be having regular meetings and structures in all nine provinces.
- Some ANC leaders have warned that Niehaus was starting a new party in the ANC's headquarters.
The leading figure in the "Radical Economic Transformation" (RET) faction of the ANC, Carl Niehaus, has denied the existence of the grouping.
"I'm not a spokesperson for the RET grouping. There is no RET grouping in the African National Congress," he told Newzroom Afrika anchor Xoli Mngambi on Wednesday.
Niehaus, who is also the spokesperson of the Umkhonto we Sizwe Military
Veterans' Association (MKMVA), said this following claims by other ANC leaders
that he was setting up a splinter party in ANC general-secretary Ace
Magashule's office, where he works, under the guise of the RET national
At a press conference of the grouping on 11 March at the Booysens Hotel in Johannesburg after its "first strategic coordination meeting", Niehaus revealed in a statement that the "RET Gauteng" grouping, which appears to have been set up at the beginning of last year, had gone national, with biweekly meetings and "support structures in all nine provinces".
In the statement, he said:
"The increasingly fast growing numbers of ANC members who associate themselves with these RET support groups, and the resultant intensification of activities, have necessitated greater cooperation in order to ensure more effective mobilisation and action."
This led to the establishment of the national coordination committee, he said.
Niehaus' statement also included a picture of a clenched yellow fist at the top, against a green background and with black shading – the colours of the ANC.
He also recently released a discussion document that he said was released in his capacity as a member of the ANC "engaging in the discussion about what the economic policy programme of the African National Congress is and should be".
Niehaus has also denied that he was trying to be "factional", instead saying he was merely engaging in ANC policy discussions.
At least two ANC leaders who are members of the party's national executive committee – Joel Netshitenzhe and ANC Eastern Cape secretary Lulama Ngcukayitobi – have warned that Niehaus was busy establishing a new party from within Magashule's office, where he is working.
The RET grouping has been supporting Magashule, as well as former president Jacob Zuma in his battle not to appear before the state capture inquiry.
They are also critical of President Cyril Ramaphosa's leadership, accusing him of not implementing resolutions of the ANC's 2017 national conference at Nasrec.