Former ANC Youth League spokesperson Floyd Shivambu joined women protesters outside the Ga-Rankuwa Magistrate's Court, north of Pretoria, on Monday.
A group of police officers, equipped with shields and batons, formed a barricade outside the court entrance.
Shivambu sang and danced with the women. Other women also joined the group, demanding the release of their husbands, brothers and fathers.
Earlier, police officers approached the crowd of around 100 women and instructed them to leave the court building.
The protest came ahead of the first appearance of the 259 protesters arrested at Lonmin's platinum mine in Marikana, North West province.
The miners were arrested on Thursday last week following a bloody confrontation with police.
A total of 34 people were killed in the shootout that erupted near the mine when police tried to disperse protesters. More than 78 people were wounded.
The mine workers are expected to appear in court around noon, facing charges of public violence.
One woman who was part of the group, Nombulelo Jali (37) wept hysterically. She said police did not know what happened to her husband Themba Khalo Jali (40) who she said was arrested on Thursday.
"I have come all the way from Harding in KwaZulu-Natal, but we can't find him. We have frantically searched everywhere and we can't locate him. Police took him," she said.
The mother of three said her husband was the family's breadwinner.