Carl Niehaus uses ANC podium to defend Zuma's defiance of Zondo Commission

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Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans' Association spokesperson Carl Niehaus.
Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans' Association spokesperson Carl Niehaus.
Felix Dlangamandla/Netwerk24
  • MKMVA spokesperson Carl Niehaus again declared some ANC members supported Jacob Zuma's defiance of the Zondo Commission.
  • Niehaus used an ANC podium for his press conference. 
  • The ANC's position is that it supports the commission and members should cooperate with it. 

Military veterans spokesperson Carl Niehaus has reiterated the support of some ANC groupings for former president Jacob Zuma and secretary-general Ace Magashule.

Niehaus, at a press conference on Monday, said he was speaking in his capacity as Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) spokesperson and secretary of the RET Gauteng, and not as an employee in Magashule's office.

A cloth with ANC colours was draped over the podium from which Niehaus was speaking.

This was despite the fact that President Cyril Ramaphosa, on behalf of the ANC national executive committee after its meeting the day before, said the party's official position was to support the Zondo Commission.

ALSO READ | Ramaphosa to lead ANC presentation to Zondo commission as top 6 try to convince Zuma to comply

The ANC has previously indicated that it would be instituting disciplinary proceedings against Niehaus for saying things which divided the organisation.

The press conference was called by the RET Gauteng, with reference to "radical economic transformation", a policy position pushed in the ANC by those opposed to Ramaphosa's leadership.

The grouping mobilised a small group of supporters, who sang and chanted before the press conference: 

We are Ace and Ace is us.

Niehaus also echoed this by saying:

We are Zuma, and Zuma is us.

They wore T-shirts proclaiming their support for Zuma, who failed to obey a Constitutional Court order on Monday morning to appear before the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into State Capture.

This led Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo to say the commission would approach the Constitutional Court to declare Zuma in contempt of court, which could result in a prison sentence.

A number of supporters, some in ANC colours, went to Zuma's home in Nkandla, where he is believed to have been on Monday, to show support. 

Niehaus declared his support for Zuma's reasons for failing to appear before Zondo. Zuma earlier objected because Zondo had a child with the sister of one of Zuma's wives.

Niehaus also said he believed that "President Zuma is undeniably the major target of the Zondo Commission" as well as those "who have committed themselves to the radical economic transformation of our country".

He also said he believed corruption-accused Magashule's trial, which continues on Friday and dates from when Magashule was Free State premier in 2014, is "politically motivated". He did not provide proof of this. 

Niehaus also said there are grudges against Zuma that go back to the 1980s when there were some people who believed Zuma, then head of the ANC intelligence, should never become president.

ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe did not immediately answer his phone for comment over whether those using ANC colours to defy the Zondo Commission would be disciplined. 

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