Niehaus 'still owing' his former landlord
Carl Niehaus, the ANC's prodigal son, has again been caught out in a lie about his financial woes.
The debt that led to his downfall has allegedly still not been paid and now stands at almost R500,000.
More than three years after Niehaus's embarrassing financial scandals and lies were exposed, it is alleged that he has not honoured repeated promises to settle rental arrears amounting to R344,108 plus interest.
He has also failed to comply with several default judgments against him.
It was after this debt - relating to his renting of a mansion in Johannesburg for about R45,000 a month - was exposed that Niehaus disappeared from the political radar and resigned as the ANC's spokesman - only to resurface on a radio talk show last week.
The latest revelations were made only days after Niehaus claimed that he had settled his debts and that "soon there will be a formal position, but let the ANC talk about that, not me". Yesterday, lawyers for Niehaus's former landlord, Eric Corbishley, confirmed that Niehaus went "underground" after being evicted from the plush R5-million mansion in February 2009.
Corbishley kicked Niehaus out of the three-bedroom Tuscan-style home in Carlswald, Midrand, after he failed to pay the R45,000-a-month rent for seven months.
Corbishley's attorney, Jannie Coetzee, said that after several broken promises to settle the arrears, his client had been forced to get an eviction order and a subsequent default judgment in 2009.
"We heard nothing from him for months. He just disappeared without a forwarding physical [or] e-mail address, and he did not answer his phone," said Coetzee.
Broke and blacklisted three years ago, Niehaus blamed the ANC for his failure to pay his debts.
For several months - between July 2008 and February 2009 - Niehaus, "overwhelmed by party business", blamed his travels with President Jacob Zuma and organisational disarray in the ANC for his failure to repay his debts.
Corbishley this week said Niehaus "vanished into the air" and never made contact with him regarding his debt.
The fully furnished home Niehaus was renting has four private courtyards, a pub, a Jacuzzi, a koi pond and boat garage.
Corbishley, who has since sold the property, said Niehaus had left a lot of damage and that he had had to cough up R16,000 to refurbish the property.
Days before Niehaus's eviction, a bank had seized some of the furniture at the home.
"He left the place in a mess. He really is a character," Corbishley said.
He said he was stunned when he heard about Niehaus's radio interview in which he claimed that all his debts, estimated at more than R4.5-million, had been settled.
These included R700,000 he owed to Rhema Church, of which he was CEO, and a R24,000 loan from the then-director-general in the Presidency, Frank Chikane.
During his 702 radio interview, Niehaus said all his debts had been settled, thanks to his current employment as a representative for NGN Telecommunications.
ANC spokesman Ishmael Mnisi said he could not comment on the matter and referred queries to another of the party's spokesmen, Jackson Mthembu.
Mthembu did not answer his cellphone and failed to respond to an SMS. Niehaus did not answer his cellphone.
When Niehaus's problems first hit the headlines, ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe said the party would find him another position in the organisation.
Justifying the decision to keep him on, Mantashe at the time said: "My emphasis is on a cadre of the movement who suffered a great deal because of ANC activities."