Carl Niehaus, spokesperson for the Umkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA), has denied ever promoting radical economic transformation (RET) as a separate “group” or “faction”.
Niehaus was responding to MKMVA president Kebby Maphatsoe’s interview in which he distanced the body from Niehaus’s utterances on RET forces.
Maphatsoe told news anchor Xoli Mngambi on Newzroom Afrika on Sunday that Niehaus did not represent the organisation in his support of RET forces.
“MKMVA has never openly spoken about RET. Carl Niehaus was doing this thing outside the structures of MKMVA, it is not a position of MKMVA. The position of MKMVA is very clear that RET is a resolution of the 54th national conference and all members of the ANC must make sure that they understand, interpret and make sure the resolution is implemented,” Maphatsoe said.
“As the MKMVA we don’t align ourselves with people calling themselves RET forces. Carl Niehaus doing this thing outside the structures, we discussed it in our NEC [meeting] and we’re very clear on that. If you do your things out there, you’ll account for them on your own. It’s not only Carl Niehaus, there are other few comrades in the MKMVA and we made it very clear that ‘Carl, when you speak on behalf of the RET forces, the media says the spokesperson on MKMVA and it appears as if it is us, which is wrong’.”
Though Niehaus is part of the Gauteng RET president [Jacob] Zuma support group, he said he had never promoted it as a faction but a policy of the ANC.
“I’ve always promoted RET as the economic policy programme of @MyANC I never promoted it as a separate ‘group’ or ‘faction’. My leader president of MKMVA Kebby Maphatsoe knows that. I am unapologetic in my stance. As @Magashule_Ace said: ‘Every member of the ANC is RET’,” he said on Twitter.
Niehaus further said he would continue to stand by fellow comrades who are being thrown under the bus.
“I don’t support individuals, I support principles. Comrades are thrown under a bus when principles are amended and compromised to target them. I’ll stand by them. Our Constitution says: ‘Every citizen is innocent until found guilty by a court .’ If I’m lynched for that, so be it!”