Eric Naki
Political Editor
2 minute read
9 Jun 2021
3:00 pm

‘I’m not trying to be factional,’ Niehaus says about his RET stance

Eric Naki

Says radical economic transformation is official MKMVA policy and he was not out of line when pushing the agenda.

Carl Niehaus outside the Constitutional Court in Braamfontein. Picture: Neil McCartney

Umkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans Association national spokesperson Carl Niehaus stands by his view that Radical Economic Transformation (RET) is an ANC policy that must be implemented and denies there is anything factional about this view.

Niehaus said when he articulated the view of RET, he never intended it to be a factional issue but ventilated it as a party matter and one of the resolutions taken at the MKMVA national conference in 2017. He denied he and association president Kebby Maphatsoe were at loggerheads over the matter.

He said there was a misunderstanding between him and Maphatsoe on the interpretation of the RET concept and some members thought he (Niehaus) was pushing a factionalist position on the matter.

“My position is that I have always spoke about the issue of radical economic transformation as an integral part of the ANC programme and I always stood for that. I explained that to Kebby. As far as I know MKMVA passed a resolution on RET during its conference in 2017 and I started to expand on it,” Niehaus said.

“I think there was a bit of misunderstanding in the interpretation of the way I articulated RET which was seen as something separate from the ANC policy programme. I have explained myself and he (Maphatsoe) understood where I come from. I will not speak anything other than the ANC programme. That is my position,” Niehaus said.

He said he never tried to articulate any factional group position. His understanding was that the conference decisions and resolutions should be implemented as the conference was an important and highest decision making structure of the ANC.

“I have no intention to be factional, I support the policy and resolutions of the ANC,” Niehaus said.

Maphatsoe lashed out at Niehaus in a television interview earlier this week, accusing him of speaking on behalf of the MKMVA without being mandated on RET. Maphatsoe distanced the association from Niehaus’s regular statements on RET, saying he was expressing his personal views.

However, Maphatsoe still agreed that radical economic transformation policy was the ANC policy as adopted at Nasrec and should be implemented.

ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte on Tuesday took a swipe at the RET forces for stealing the radical economic transformation concept as their own. She said radical socio-economic transformation was an ANC policy and needed no reiteration by a grouping like RET, which she described as “factional”.