Johannesburg- Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans spokesperson, Carl Niehaus has written an open letter to the ruling party’s head of election campaign, Fikile Mbalula advising him not to be “excited’ and ‘mislead’ by “white monopoly capital” media with their own ‘anti-ANC’ agendas.
During a KwaZulu-Natal land Imbizo called by Zulu king Goodwill Zwelithini this week, Niehaus apologized to the king and criticised those who intended to interfere in the management of the Ingonyama Trust‚ of which the king is the sole trustee.
Mbalula quickly lashed out at Niehaus‚ saying he was not mandated to speak on behalf of the ANC.
“Carl Niehaus has got no such mandate. He is an MKMVA spokesperson‚” said Mbalula. “The ANC will speak for itself. The ANC did not mandate him to go and speak on its behalf and apologize.”
However, Niehaus said he attended the Imbizo in his personal capacity.
According to Niehaus, Mbalula allowed himself to be misled by journalists who deliberately misquoted his speech and launching an unwarranted attack on him.
“If comrade Mbalula had followed this advice, and listened to my full speech at the Imbizo that his Majesty King Zwelithini held on Wednesday the 4th of July 2018 at Ulundi, he would not have allowed himself to be excited and mislead by journalists of the mainstream media who are in the employ of White Monopoly Capital, into launching an entirely unwarranted attack on me”, he said.
Niehaus further stated that he never attacked or criticised the ANC’s position concerning the Ingonyama Trust during his speech.
“In fact, I was at pains to clarify that the ANC has not taken any formal position with regards to the Inkonyama Trust, nor on the recommendations of the High-Level Panel on the Assessment of Key Legislation and the Acceleration of Fundamental Change. This I did because as the Imbizo progressed it became clear to me that a very wrong and highly damaging perception was gaining ground that the ANC was negatively disposed to the Ingonyama Trust, and had accepted the recommendations of the High-Level Panel- neither of which are correct. As a loyal and longstanding member of the ANC, I felt that these very damaging misconceptions had to be corrected as a matter of urgency”.
Niehaus said that as an ANC member, he had to express his concern about Motlanthe having “launched an attack on traditional leaders”. The attack was unjustified, he said.
Presumably, Niehaus was speaking about Motlanthe’s statements at the ANC’s land summit in June. While addressing issues around rural land ownership and traditional leadership, Motlanthe said: “The majority of traditional leaders are acting as village tin-pot dictators to the people there in the villages”.
Niehaus said the ANC must be concerned about the return of land from “those who had stolen it from blacks, especially Africans”.
He said that since its inception, the ANC had supported and carried traditional leaders.
“Let us not behave in a manner that will undermine that. We need unity in South Africa and must work as fellow South Africans, but let us never undermine the little of what belongs to the black South Africans. I would like to urge all of us who are committed to the full implementation of the Resolution on the Expropriation of Land without Compensation that was taken at the 54th National Conference of the ANC, to focus on the main issue that is the return of the 70% plus of the land still owned by whites to its rightful black (primarily African) owners, from whom it was stolen by white colonists.”