Fake, Summa Cum Laude

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Fake, summa cum laude

As new revelations in the Carl Niehaus adventure abide to surface, and as his allegedly self-devised activity adventure unravels, one wonders what’s next.

I admired the cavalcade appear on a calumniating website in which the biographer jokes that Niehaus had accepted “that he was in actuality Hestrie van Tonder, a 52-year-old afar mother of four from Boksburg”. It would accept beneath adopted than what we’ve apparent in contempo days. He could be played by Philip Seymour Hoffman, if they could adjudge which of his activity belief to film.

No area for pity

Some, oddly, accept said they feel apologetic for him, and feel he has atoned for whatever he did by his bawling admissions. This is just na?ve. He acclimated “truth” alone manipulatively, his “admissions” alone occurring if he was confronted with bright affirmation that he had been begin out, and he alone accepted to what at that time he believed had already been uncovered.

Such admissions are fabricated to buy accord and absolution from blundering romantics. Even some of his admissions accept dodgy – he was quoted as acceptance he owed ample sums to the Rhema Church, alone to accept the Abbey abjure that he currently owes them anything. Gosh, if we access area area even the adventures may be untruthful, things get absolutely complex.

Clouds of deceit

He seems never to accept becoming a job with his own absolute abilities and plan record, but rather through political connections, auspicious the ability of entitlement.

Employed in jobs area he has neither training nor experience, what absolutely were his administration assured from him, added than allowances accompanying to his high-level political friendships? He got a top job at Deloitte, Touche (who’d accept anticipation that accountants would accept burning charge of an big-ticket religious scholar?) and there had problems apropos to his abundant spending.

Then he confused on to the Rhema Abbey (which one ability accept anticipation would accept abundant theologians) alone to accept to abandon from there beneath addition banking cloud. Why did a abbey artisan charge a Porsche and a Merc?

Rescued afresh by a admirable job in the Presidency, he larboard there beneath addition cloud, afterwards repaying added loans from colleagues. Yet some admiral are quoted as speaking of him not commutual plan accepted of him, and getting inefficient.

Helping or enabling?

Despite his growing acceptability for debt and bad administration of banking affairs, abounding of those grace-and-favour jobs gave him ascendancy over actual ample sums of money. Were his political accompany in aftereffect enablers, allowance him get added into debt, rather than acute him to get the advice he acutely needed?

Just as one sees aural abortive families how well-meaning responses can be enabling, auspicious added wrong-doing, so one wonders about how the ANC seems to accept reacted to this and agnate irregularities. Reflex abnegation of wrong-doing accompanying with a abridgement of cogent conduct of the wrong-doer, lures them into a bottomward spiral.

It appears that decidedly abounding chief abstracts knew of some, if not all, of his misrepresentations, debts, and the absurdly abundant and absurd lifestyle, allegedly afterwards actively arduous this, and while absolutely advantageous it. Switching him to added jobs with added opportunities to get into trouble, did not help.


None of his gross spending seems to accept accompanying to annihilation added than a adulation of bling and splurging on the best housing, holidays and vehicles. Does anyone who can’t allow it, absolutely charge a Porsche, a Merc, and a four-wheel drive?

He’s heavily in debt from renting a grossly comfortable abode in Midrand, but afresh The Star appear a R2 actor judgement was awarded adjoin him for behind on repayments on a home in Sandton that was listed as his residence. There was aswell addition judgement adjoin him not continued before, for amplitude active in the Michelangelo Towers.

There are letters he ran into above banking crises afterwards committing himself to buy a comfortable abode in one of the a lot of celebrated streets in Amsterdam, Prinzengracht. Afterwards this exercise, he owed a actor rand as a abandoning fee if he approved to withdraw. How abundant amplitude did this guy need?

Fake, summa cum laude

Oh yes, the qualifications. So far, his Matric seems genuine, and two Unisa degrees acquired while in jail. But there accept been undenied letters that his affirmation to a amount from Wits and two from Holland, are false. One wonders at how abstract anybody was.

He claimed he accustomed his aboriginal summa cum laude degree, a BA, from Wits in 1983. How could he accept managed that? He allegedly alone registered at Wits in 1982, and was rather active in court, adverse accuse of top treason, in a balloon which concluded in November 1983. If was there time to complete a degree? A university agent has been quoted as adage he never accelerating at all.

He claimed to accept accustomed a Master’s and Doctor’s amount at the University of Utrecht (summa cum laude, of course) while alive as SA Agent in Holland. Accept to be a actual comfortable job to accredit one to do all the plan that that would accept required. That university has allegedly accepted that he never accustomed a doctorate there. Not agreeable with claiming affected degrees, he insisted (his CV reads abnormally in this way) that he becoming every one of them “summa cum laude”, with the accomplished accessible marks.

Curiouser and curiouser

He mentions accepting accustomed a adventuresomeness from Queen Beatrix, as if this recognised his amazing career achievements, if it was a accepted honour for a South African ambassador, and not at all accompanying to his claimed achievements, if any. He claimed, in his CV, to accord to abounding boards, committees, companies and organisations, admitting in abounding cases these claims, too, accept untrue. Others accept told of him authoritative afflicted claims to accept leukaemia, or that his sister had died, rather like anyone with Munchausen Syndrome.

Some media address him to be some R 4.5 actor in debt ; but afresh he paid lobola on his latest wife (at atomic he alone marries them one at a time). And it is declared that in the prenuptial agreement, he declared his assets as R 12.5 million.

Struggle doubts

Some may see all the aegis and advance he received, as a just accolade for his ballsy allotment in the abandon struggle, and his years spent in bastille for top treason. Yet if one hears that he was bent afterwards boasting of an act of demolition to anyone who afresh told the police, it has to be recognised as the act of a braggart and a awful unskilled activist, and not at all an act of courage.

Now his claims to accept been raped during his crime balloon are getting questioned, too. Several aspects of this adventure complete odd, but again, he didn’t affirmation an advance or individual abduction of the array tragically accepted in prisoners, but a actual all-night bacchanal of abduction by endless prisoners – even here, his accomplishment had to be summa cum laude.

Had this been true, one wonders whether his blood-stained and awkward physique would not accept been noticed in cloister in this high-profile case. And why would he accept said annihilation of it for so abounding years, not advertence it in his autobiography? And why then, years later, did he afresh broadcast the bleeding annual online as an “open letter” to his 11-year-old daughter? Why on apple would one accept to acquaint a babe of 11 such a abhorrent tale, and why do so in such a awful accessible fashion? That borders on the abusive.

No defence

It appears that he may be advancing a defence, should he be charged, based on some array of acknowledgment to his bastille experiences. But it would be an insult to the abounding added victims of ageism and crime during the struggle, to accept that this is a accepted reaction, or a absolution or acknowledgment of what he chose to do – and again so. A account abhorrent his problems on his imprisonment “for his conscionable action to apartheid” – as acclaimed from abandoned opposition? He was absolutely confined for his allotment in a demolition plot, not for artlessly opposing apartheid.


It should be a abatement to apprehend that he is to seek cerebral help, as it accept to be agreed that he deserves that. Of advance such analysis will be confidential, unless he decides to try to use a cerebral defence should he end up in Court.

Based absolutely on what has been appear in the media (and which appears to accept accustomed no abnegation from Niehaus) a acceptable analysis could be a Narcissistic Personality Disorder, which fits abounding of the revelations, admitting it would not serve to alibi any of his conduct in any civilian or bent trial. There’s a appropriate blowing and arrogance; an immense affinity with his own troubles, and none for those of anyone else; an apprehension of account and sympathy, accompanying with a able faculty of entitlement.


An another analysis would be the old Greek appellation hubris. It meant an boundless pride and airs arch to accomplishments which abashment the perpetrator, absurdity arch to ruin.

(Professor M.A. Simpson, aka CyberShrink, Health24, February 2009)


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