Lockdown protester locked up after 'shouting and swearing' in court

Accused removes mask and argues with Cape Town court officials

Bobby Jordan Senior reporter
Police arrest Craig Peiser on Saturday after he removed a TV reporter's face mask at the beach in Fish Hoek, Cape Town.
Police arrest Craig Peiser on Saturday after he removed a TV reporter's face mask at the beach in Fish Hoek, Cape Town.
Image: Esa Alexander

The man arrested during a weekend protest against the national lockdown will be sent for mental evaluation after swearing and shouting in court on Monday.

Craig Peiser was arrested during a protest at Fish Hoek beach on Saturday after removing a television journalist's face mask. He was subsequently charged with assault and contravening the country's Covid-19 regulations.

Provincial National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila said on Monday: “The NPA can confirm that the accused appeared at the Simon's Town magistrate's court this morning.

“The presiding officer decided to keep him in custody and referred him to a district surgeon for assessment [or] observation for a possible referral for mental observation due to his conduct in court. The accused rambled on and on, shouted and swore in court. The matter has been postponed to February 10,” said Ntabazalila.

TimesLIVE was unable to contact Peiser after his appearance.

Video footage of him at court showed him remonstrating with staff and asking an official at the entrance to remove his mask so he could be heard more clearly.

Peiser also publicly apologised to the journalist, saying he never intended to cause her grief.

Footage posted on Twitter by EWN showed Peiser with his mask on his chin inside the court building.

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Peiser led the weekend protest, which argued that the lockdown rules were nonsensical and damaging to society.

The protest followed similar action in Muizenberg two days before President Cyril Ramaphosa eased level 3 lockdown restrictions which included a beach ban.

TimesLIVE


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