This is very much D-Day for Jacob Zuma, the judiciary, AND Bheki Cele. The rule of law in South Africa has come under tremendous strain in the past eight days, after the former president defied an order of his arrest from the highest court in the land. However, all official signs point to Wednesday being Msholozi’s ‘last day of freedom’.
Advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi argued in court yesterday that the arrest of Mr. Zuma is already ‘overdue’. However, accepting ConCourt’s version of events, he explained that Wednesday ‘should be the day uBaba is arrested’.
“Since Sunday, Zuma has been in an ongoing breach of the present order, let alone the order for which he was already convicted of. But he has been in breach of the present order. Mr. Zuma must go present himself by Sunday 4 July. That’s the ruling, if he doesn’t… the day after, he must be arrested by police: There is no ambiguity in the order.”
“Zuma can approach the Concourt today, tomorrow to stay the sentence. He can even do it by letter. The ConCourt is the appropriate alternative. The current judge shouldn’t be asked to make a decision.”
Advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi has told the High Court in Pietermaritzburg that Jacob Zuma must be arrested before the clock strikes midnight on Wednesday, 7 July.
— Thobelani Ncapai 🇿🇦🇹🇿 (@ThobelaniNcapai) July 6, 2021
We’ve been here before: With the conclusion of ConCourt’s landmark decision handed down on 30 June, there seemed to be no way out for Jacob Zuma. Of course, he then found an escape route. But there’s now growing confidence that there will be no avenues left to run down for the 79-year-old before the day is done – and it’s partly down to Bheki Cele.
This isn’t inspired by the police minister’s exemplary work, however… it’s very much the opposite. By delaying the arrest of the one-time head of state – and sending a letter to ConCourt to ‘postpone’ a full course of action – Cele has put himself in danger of committing a contempt of court offence, if Zuma isn’t detained before Wednesday is through.
Bheki Cele tells @XoliMngambi that the police will arrest #JacobZuma by Wednesday night if the #ConCourt does not issue a new directive as per his letter to the court. #Newzroom405 #BhekiCeleOn405 pic.twitter.com/MXZAyr60wH
— Newzroom Afrika (@Newzroom405) July 6, 2021