Disbanded Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) spokesperson, Carl Niehaus has been released from the Estcourt Correctional Services Facility in KwaZulu-Natal after being issued a R3 000 fine.
This is the same correctional facility where former president Jacob Zuma is serving his jail term.
Police spokesperson Brigadier Vishnu Naidoo stated that Niehaus is “expected to pay the [R3000] fine before the 6th of August 2021 or appear in the Escourt Magistrate’s Court.”
Niehaus was arrested on Thursday during a live television interview with SABC News for allegedly contravening lockdown regulations.
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 Estcourt prison at about 4pm this afternoon [Thursday]. The Disaster Management Act Regulations clearly outlines [that] gatherings are prohibited, except for funerals where not more than 50 people are allowed to attend,” Naidoo said after confirming the arrest.
“The suspect was initially warned about the gathering and was arrested after ignoring the warning,” he added.
Naidoo further cautioned that Niehaus’ arrest “should be a warning to potential law-breakers that contravention of the lockdown regulations, especially amidst the ever-increasing Covid-19 virus, will not be tolerated.”
This arrest comes after Niehaus’ suspension from the ANC, which deputy secretary-general, Jessie Duarte said was a result of his utterances at Nkandla.
“The NEC has noted with concern your inflammatory speeches made outside the home of former president Jacob Zuma at Nkandla, KwaZulu-Natal over the weekend of 2 to 4 July 2021 and which were broadcast live on national television and has come to the conclusion that such utterances brought the ANC into disrepute,” Duarte mentioned.
According to News24, Niehaus referred to this as a painful matter, but vowed to appeal the temporary suspension: “I will appeal this suspension by the ANC with immediate effect… I have been a member of the ANC for 42 years and the suspension is wrong” he added.
I will appeal this suspension by @MYANC with immediate effect.
I remain a dedicated liberation fighter. pic.twitter.com/8Sy78fOkna
— Carl Niehaus (@niehaus_carl) July 7, 2021
Niehaus took to Twitter to thank his supporters following his release by saying: “I have been released (around 8pm) from Escourt Police station… My utmost gratitude to all my comrades for your support.”