Cape Town – Suspended ANC member and Umkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans’ Association (MKMVA) spokesperson Carl Niehaus was arrested outside the Estcourt Correctional Services on Thursday afternoon.
Niehaus has been addressing a crowd that gathered outside the prison to support former president Jacob Zuma who was held for for contempt of court.
During a live TV interview with the SABC a group of police officers approached Niehaus and whisked him away.
Niehaus was telling the TV crew that the mobilisation for Zuma would continue, right before the police interrupted the interview and asked him to go with them.
It was not clear what Niehaus had been arrested for but according to reports at the scene, it was for breaking lockdown regulations.
Niehaus has become a vociferous supporter of Zuma in recent years and is a regular fixture at his court appearances.
At the weekend, when several hundred people gathered in Nkandla to support the embattled former president, Niehaus was among the crowd. On Wednesday night as the clock ticked down for Zuma’s arrest, Niehaus was outside the former presidents home.
Earlier this week, the ANC confirmed Niehaus’ suspension with immediate effect after the decision was taken by the ANC’s National Executive Committee (NEC).
A letter from the ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte said Niehaus’s utterances at Nkandla over the weekend brought the party into disrepute and, therefore, the party decided to suspend his membership.
“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.
“Moreover, you were clad in a T-shirt bearing the ANC logo when you appeared on television,” Duarte said.
Duarte said the NEC has resolved that such conduct contravened Rule 25.17 of the ANC constitution.
ANC national spokesperson Pule Mabe confirmed that the ANC wrote a letter to Niehaus, which was leaked.