Carl Niehaus runs short of cash again as new debt woes mount
Disgraced former ANC spokesman Carl Niehaus has done it again - creditors are after him because he allegedly failed to pay his rent and honour a loan agreement.
A Durban businessman yesterday told the Sunday Times how Niehaus begged him for R25,000 last month, promising to pay it back within days.
"He borrowed my money on a Monday for some family emergency and promised to pay me back on the Wednesday ... He has been telling me stories instead of paying back.
"He only managed to pay me back R5,000 last week under duress from some of his comrades."
The businessman said Niehaus signed a loan agreement on April 16.
Niehaus confirmed that he borrowed the money, but said he would pay it back this week.
"I know I signed the contract to pay him back three weeks ago but I made new arrangements to pay him back, latest, Tuesday," Niehaus said.
"I don't know why he is now running to the newspapers."Sources close to Niehaus say the Durban businessman is not the only person to whom he is in debt.
"This man has a string of debts as long as my arm. He is living a high life on borrowed money," one source said.
Another said Niehaus "ran away in the middle of the night" without paying R7,000 in rent he owed for an apartment in the luxury Zimbali estate.
Niehaus had negotiated a massive discount with his landlady by promising her a government deal "as soon as Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma takes over as the president of South Africa", the source said.
"After Cyril Ramaphosa won as the ANC president at Nasrec in December, the [woman] asked Niehaus to pay the full rent amount.
"But he couldn't afford it and he ran away in the middle of the night without paying."
Niehaus denied this version of events but acknowledged he had vacated the apartment because he could no longer afford it.
"I paid my rent to the last cent before I moved to another property I can afford," he said.
The landlady declined to comment.
Niehaus has a long history of borrowing money from his friends without paying it back.
The Sunday Times reported last year how he "killed off" his mother to avoid paying a R4.3-million debt.
He owed the money to a former landlord for the rental of two apartments in Sandton, damage to expensive furnishings and artwork, unpaid concierge charges and interest.
Niehaus told the landlord that his mother had died and he would soon receive a generous inheritance that would allow him to settle the debt.
But his 88-year-old mother, Magrietha Niehaus, is alive and living in a home for the elderly in Johannesburg.
He was caught in a similar scam in 2011 involving his father.
Niehaus was forced to quit his post as ANC spokesman nine years ago after confessing to lies and fraud.
He admitted he forged signatures while CEO of the Gauteng Economic Development Agency as part of a scheme to borrow money from friends.
He later became a spokesman for Rhema Church, but had to resign with debts to the church of more than R700,000.