‘You address no one, you’ – cops tell Zuma ally Carl Niehaus as they arrest him outside Estcourt prison

  • Carl Niehaus was arrested by police outside the Estcourt Correctional Centre and later released after being issued a fine. 
  • Police said meetings and gatherings were not allowed under the adjusted Level 4 lockdown. 
  • Niehaus was addressing supporters and the media at the time of his arrest. 

Carl Niehaus, spokesperson of the disbanded uMkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA), was arrested on Thursday outside the Estcourt Correctional Centre in KwaZulu-Natal for contravening lockdown regulations.

The correctional facility is where former president Jacob Zuma is jailed.

Police spokesperson Brigadier Vishnu Naidoo confirmed that Estcourt SAPS in KwaZulu-Natal arrested a prominent political figure for allegedly breaking lockdown regulations.

READ | ‘I dedicated my whole adult life to the ANC’ – Carl Niehaus bemoans suspension

“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 gatherings are prohibited, except for funerals where not more than 50 people are allowed to attend,” he said. 

Naidoo said that Niehaus was initially warned about the gathering and was subsequently arrested after ignoring it.

He was later released after being issued a R3000 fine.

“He is expected to pay the fine before the 6th of August 2021 or appear in the Estcourt Magistrate’s Court,” said Naidoo.

On Thursday, Niehaus who was briefing the media outside the prison facility, just hours after the Minister of Justice Ronald Lamola briefed the media, was interrupted by police for organising an illegal gathering. 

Niehaus, suspended by the ANC, was believed to be the mastermind behind the “free Zuma campaign” that was expected to have taken place on Thursday.

Police pounced on Niehaus and took him away from the briefing, saying there was no social distancing during his address and that he was in defiance of the law.

A police officer said to Niehaus:

You know very well you are not allowed to have meetings.

Niehaus, who was arrested live on television, was heard saying to the police officer that he was addressing the press.

“You address no one, you,” retorted the police officer handling him.

Niehaus and around 20 others gathered outside the Estcourt Correctional Centre in a show of solidarity with the former president.

Niehaus berated the Constitutional Court, saying they “thrashed baba’s basic human rights”.

“No one can tell me the imprisonment of Msholozi is a victory for the law or equality before the law. It is an aberration. It is wrong,” he said.

Earlier, Lamola said Zuma would be treated like any other prisoner.

ALSO READ | Zuma’s imprisonment is ‘a difficult period in movement’, says ANC

The disbanded MKMVA’s head Kebby Maphatsoe said they were seeking clarity on the arrest.

“If it was because of violating lockdown, then why was he arrested alone?”

Maphatsoe said they would comment further once they had more information on the matter. 

Before Zuma handed himself over to the police, Niehaus made it clear that he would oppose it.

He also slammed the ANC for suspending him from the party, saying he would remain a member of the MKMVA and that the party had no legal standing to have him suspended.

Naidoo said 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.”


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Publish date : 2021-07-08 18:01:55

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