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.
“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 is currently in police custody likely to face charges in terms of the DMA Regulations.”
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.