Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula is unrepentant about his view of Umkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans (MKMVA) spokesperson Carl Niehaus, again calling him an “unrepentant thug”.
In a Tweet reply to Niehaus on Thursday, Mbalula called the staunch supporter of ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule an “unrepentant thug” and a “self-confessed fraudster”.
You sue me for telling u the truth about yourself unrepentant thug. Self confessed fraudster. How did you lose job at GEP ? Under Mashatile,Why did you fake mothers death? What is your job description at luthuli house?
— |Mr Fix (@MbalulaFikile) May 6, 2021
He has called Niehaus an “unrepentant thug” before, in February. And the “fraudster” label is linked to his past, where he’s accused of defrauding the Gauteng Economic Development Agency (Geda), among others.
On Wednesday, it was revealed that Niehaus is suing Mbalula for R8 million, for calling him a thug and corrupt on Twitter last year.
Niehaus said he was suing Mbalula because he could not get away with insulting people with impunity.
“Minister Mbalula seems to think that he’s got impunity to insult people. He has also insulted minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, minister Lindiwe Sisulu and many others including the secretary-general of the ANC, comrade Ace Magashule.
“I think the time has come for minister Mbalula to be told this is enough. He will not be left with a situation where he feels he has impunity to insult people as he wishes and there will be consequences. That is why I decided to proceed with this summons,” he said.
A history of violence
Mbalula and Niehaus have a history of not getting along.
Last October, in a series of tweets, Mbalula defended himself against “thugs” Niehaus and MKMVA leader Kebby Maphatsoe, alleging they were out to get him because he had closed their “milking cow” – the Passenger Rail Agency of SA (Prasa).
Back in 2019, Mbalula called Niehaus a “crook” after Niehaus criticised then-head of ANC elections Mbalula for saying President Cyril Ramaphosa’s election as party president in 2017 was a “game changer”.
Niehaus had said: “He [Mbalula] seems to fear much, especially engagement about his blatant opportunism, careerism and lack of respect for his seniors, such as the SG [secretary-general] of the ANC, comrade Ace Magashule. Talk about real cowardice!”
Additional reporting by Thapelo Lekabe