It has not been a good week for Carl Niehaus after his ANC membership was temporarily suspended for his “inflammatory speeches” made outside of former President Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla homestead in KwaZulu-Natal.
Carl Niehaus arrested
Niehaus – who is the spokesperson of the now-disbanded Umkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) – was arrested by the police while speaking to the media outside the Estcourt Correctional Centre in KwaZulu-Natal, where Zuma is serving his 15-month prison sentence.
According to media reports, Niehaus has been nabbed for contravening the adjusted Level 4 lockdown regulations.
The MKMVA spokesperson was believed to be one of the organisers of the gatherings at Nkandla this past weekend.
Scores of Zuma’s supporters flocked to Nkandla to stand in solidarity with the former president after he was sentenced to 15 months in prison for contempt of the Constitutional Court (ConCourt) last week Tuesday.
Under Level 4, all gatherings – including political, social or religious – have been prohibited as they are regarded as potential super-spreader events.
This is amid the sharp rise of Covid-19 infections driven by the new delta variant.
Police Minister Bheki Cele has previously indicated that the police did not take action against the supporters as the officers had to keep the situation under control in order to avoid disasters like the Marikana incident.
Cele did, however, say arrests would be made for those who flouted lockdown regulations.
“Just because we didn’t pick them on that day, it doesn’t mean we’re not going to,” he said.
Minutes after the ANC’s announced Niehaus’ suspension on Wednesday, the MKMVA spokesperson said he intended to appeal the party’s decision “with immediate effect”, and that he was still a “dedicated liberation fighter”.
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This is a developing story.