'It was not my job to lay charges'

Kingdom Mabuza and Anna Majavu

Kingdom Mabuza and Anna Majavu

Gauteng premier and ANC chairman in the province Paul Mashatile said it was not his responsibility to lay charges against disgraced former ANC spin doctor Carl Niehaus.

Niehaus is accused of committing "irregularities" while he was employed as chief executive officer of the Gauteng Economic Development Agency (Geda).

"There was no obligation on me to go to the police, that responsibility rests with the board. I said I wanted an investigation and Geda did that, and that is why he resigned."

Mashatile, pictured, said the Geda board, which is an accounting authority, satisfied itself that the Gauteng government had not incurred any financial loss and concluded that there was "no need" for further action against Niehaus.

"Niehaus's immediate resignation made it impossible for any further investigation and possible disciplinary action. In government, we do not investigate people who are gone unless something was stolen," Mashatile said.

The premier, who was finance MEC when Niehaus was chief executive of Geda, said the ANC would institute an inquiry into whether or not Niehaus's conduct had brought the party into disrepute.

Niehaus has blamed his time in prisons under apartheid for his debt-ridden situation, saying he would see a psychologist to help him deal with the "long-term and deeply negative effects" of his seven-and-a-half years in jail for high treason during the 1980s.

Niehaus also quit his position as deputy chairman of the council of the Robben Island Museum this week.

Had he not jumped, it is likely the museum council meeting next month would have axed him.