Carl Niehaus vs Derek Hanekom

Carl Niehaus. File photo: Gallo Images / Sunday Times / Jackie Clausen)

Niehaus on warpath after ‘smallest crowd ever’ at ANC birthday rally

Not one to mince his words, the ANC veteran believes the time has come for the ruling party to shape up.

Carl Niehaus vs Derek Hanekom

Carl Niehaus. File photo: Gallo Images / Sunday Times / Jackie Clausen)

The small crowd and people’s lacklustre response to the ANC’s annual January 8th statement, were indicative of the need for an overhaul within the ANC, said former ANC spokesperson Carl Niehaus. 

The ANC was expecting 100 000 people to attend its 108th anniversary celebrations which began on January 8. However, according to reports, only about 25 000 people gathered at the Tafel Lager Park Stadium, in Kimberley, which was hired out for the official address by top party officials. 

The spokesperson for the Umkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans’ Association (MKMVA) further wrote on Twitter that it was time “leadership, to be honest, express concern and not sugar-coat things”. 

Harsh ‘postmortem’ tweet

Niehaus has not shied away from being critical of the ANC and in tweeting a “postmortem” of the ANC’s birthday celebrations, he was especially harsh. 

ANC in need of ‘as much help as possible’

In response to a Twitter user who slammed his stance, stating that it was only because President Cyril Ramaphosa was in control of the party – Niehaus said the ANC was in need of as much help as it could get to address the needs and demands of the public. 

In another tweet, Niehaus slammed a suggestion that it was time for another political party to take charge.

Niehaus questions ANC ethos, points out debauchery

The public condemnation of the ANC on social media by Niehaus comes in the wake of his penning an equally damning column in The Star. He questions the ethos of the ANC, lamenting that it is now known as an organisation of tenderpreneurs and politicians clad in head-to-toe designer gear.

On the subject of the birthday celebrations, Niehaus is particularly scathing in his analysis of the festivities. 

“Conspicuous consumption, and straight-down debauchery have become the order of the day for much of these celebrations. Bars and luxury restaurants are packed to the brim with revellers who think nothing about running up astronomical bills for ridiculously overpriced champagne and single-malt whiskeys, Cuban cigars and all kinds of exotic food.” 

Coming from a place of ‘love and loyalty’

According to Niehaus;

  • Some members of the ANC pursue money at all cost;
  • Desperate and poor young women are exploited by cadres; and  
  • The ideological and revolutionary message broadcast by the president of the ANC falls on deaf ears as event-goers are only concerned with partying.

He ended off by stating that his disparaging remarks come from a place of love and loyalty.