24 November 1983
Carl Niehaus grew up in Zeerust, North West Province, and completed his higher education at Rand Afrikaans University (RAU). A student of theology, Niehaus was months away from his final exams in 1980 when he was expelled from RAU for putting up campus posters that supported Nelson Mandela's release form prison. In the same year, he resigned from the Dutch Reformed Church (DRC) as he was opposed to their compliance with the apartheid system. He joined and became a deacon in the African Dutch Reformed Church in Alexandra and also became an active member of the African National Congress (ANC). Having worked underground for the ANC since 1980, Niehaus was arrested along with his fiancÁƒÂƒ©e Johanna (Jansie) Lourens in 1983. Both were convicted of treason, and on 24 November, Niehaus was sentenced to fifteen years in prison. He served seven years of his sentence, while Jansie served all four years of hers. By 1991, the process of dismantling apartheid had begun and Niehaus was released from prison. He became the ANC spokesperson and held numerous other positions, such as chairman of the Transformation Forum on Correctional Service. Later in life though, Niehaus was surrounded by controversy. He supposedly completed a degree in Industrial Sociology at the University of the Witwatersrand, and a PhD in Theology at the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands. But, it was revealed earlier this year (2009) that Niehaus does not have a degree from the University of Utrecht and that he had in fact falsified additional information regarding his qualifications and work for the ANC. He apparently convinced the owner of a travel agency to temporarily cover the expenses of a family holiday to Mauritius and when he was expected to repay the amount of money, he refused to do so. Allegations of fraud were brought against Niehaus, most of which he admitted to. He was forced to resign from the ANC in February 2009.
  1. Carl Niehaus [online] Available at: anc.org. [Accessed on 17 November 2009]
  2. Carl Niehaus's litany of lies. Mail &Guardian. 17 February 2009. [online] Available at: .mg.co.za[Accessed on 17 November 2009]
  3. Kalley, J.A.; Schoeman, E. & Andor, L.E. (eds)(1999).Southern African Political History: a chronology of key political events from independence to mid-1997, Westport: Greenwood.