Controversial former African National Congress (ANC) staffer Carl Niehaus has jokingly questioned National Prosecuting Authority’s (NPA) intentions, after his court appearance related to his July arrest was postponed yet again.
Niehaus appeared in the Estcourt Magistrate’s Court on Monday in connection with contravention of the Disaster Management Act, relating to an incident in July 2021.
On 8 July, he was arrested by police outside the Estcourt Correctional Centre in KwaZulu-Natal while being interviewed by SABC News. Niehaus was outside the prison to call for the release of jailed former president Jacob Zuma.
At the time, the country was under alert level 4 lockdown and all gatherings were prohibited, except for funerals.
By agreement, the matter was postponed to 14 – 18 February 2022 for trial, said the NPA in a statement.
Niehaus, who has maintained his innocence, claiming his charges were trumped up, has now questioned the intention of the NPA on his love life.
“I’ve been here for exactly two minutes to simply hear that the magistrate has ruled now that my case is postponed until next year on the 14th of February – Valentine’s Day nogal. I don’t know if the National Prosecuting Authority has the intention to destroy my love life, but I will come with my partner Noli right here to the court. We will face these trumped up charges,” Niehaus told a laughing audience outside the court.
“These charges absolutely hold no water, and were brought against me because of factional political reasons within the African National Congress. The police were instructed to arrest me by a very senior political and government official to arrest me because he didn’t like what he heard in the live interview that I was giving.”
Niehaus reiterated his call for President Cyril Ramaphosa to step aside for “failing” the ANC.
“As far as I’m concerned, President Cyril Ramaphosa and the NEC have dismally failed the ANC. All these things that they do only prove one thing: Ramaphosa must go, the ANC NEC must go. We must put leaders in place who will truly save the ANC and return to its political and true revolutionary heart.”