Carl Niehaus, a spokesman for the defiant Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA), was arrested on Thursday afternoon.
Niehaus, a staunch Zuma supporter, arrived at the Estcourt Correctional Centre shortly before 4 p.m., where former President Jacob Zuma is being held. He started talking to a few Zuma fans outside the facility.
Following his brief address, Niehaus began giving media interviews. A group of police officers came in and carried Niehaus away down the road while he was speaking to the SABC in a live interview.
Suspended ANC member Carl Niehaus has been arrested outside the Estcourt prison where #JacobZuma is being held. He was addressing supporters when police moved in to break up the illegal gathering. #eNCA pic.twitter.com/vwqTZUEevd
— Dasen Thathiah (@DasenThathiah) July 8, 2021
“The 61-year-old man is alleged to have convened a gathering of approximately 100 people outside the Escourt prison at about 4 pm. The Disaster Management Act clearly outlines [that] gatherings are prohibited, except for funerals where not more than 50 people are allowed to attend.
“The suspect was initially warned about the gathering and was arrested after ignoring the warning. He is in police custody and likely to face charges in terms of the DMA regulations,” said Naidoo.
He added that the arrest should serve as a warning that “contravention of the lockdown regulations, especially amid the ever-increasing Covid-19 virus, will not be tolerated”. Niehaus was placed in a police van and taken to the Estcourt police station.