TRENDING: Carl Niehaus, the serial orphan
Having a con man front her campaign doesn’t seem to bother Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma in the slightest
The Sunday Times headline read: "How Carl Niehaus ‘killed’ mom to pay R4.3m debt". What followed was an extraordinary tale of deceit and dishonesty.
Niehaus, who is the point man for Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma’s campaign to become ANC president, claimed he would pay money owed for the rental of two Sandton apartments and other fees with money inherited from his deceased mother.
But his mother, Magrietha Niehaus (88), is "very much alive", according to Chris du Plessis, an insurance broker who was named by Niehaus as the executor of his mother’s estate.
Niehaus previously pretended that his father had died and that he needed to borrow money for the funeral. His father was alive at the time, but has since passed away.
Niehaus, who comments vocally several times a day on the injustices of "white monopoly capital" and the virtues of Dlamini-Zuma, would not comment to the newspaper. Asked if his mother was alive, he said: "I am not prepared to comment about it."
It turns out that was also a lie. The next day he issued a statement that claimed the story was part of a plot against him.
"These allegations, by a nameless source concerning an alleged debt, were given more prominent coverage than the Steinhoff misappropriation of over R12bn of taxpayers’ monies," he said.
The latest shenanigans add to a history of deceit:
• Niehaus once told a travel agent he had leukaemia to get a reduction on a holiday to Mauritius;
• He resigned as CEO of the Rhema Bible Church owing it R700,000;
• He forged the signatures of several ANC officials, including Paul Mashatile, Ignatius Jacobs, Khabisi Mosunkutu and Angie Motshekga, while he was CEO of the Gauteng Economic Development Agency; and
• He lied about having a doctorate in theology from the University of Utrecht.
After disappearing in disgrace, Niehaus re-emerged earlier this year as spokesman for the Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association, wearing duck-hunting camouflage and spouting newfound radical rhetoric about the evils of capitalism.
What was more surprising, however, was his emergence as the lead spokesman for Dlamini-Zuma in her bitter battle with Cyril Ramaphosa for the ANC leadership. Apparently his being a liar, a fraud and a con man didn’t bother Dlamini-Zuma in the slightest — which, you’d imagine, should be a little disturbing.