All eyes on Police Minister Cele as deadline draws closer for Zuma arrest

The nation is now waiting to see how Police Minister Bheki Cele is going to deal with the Jacob Zuma matter as well as his hordes of supporters who have vowed to prevent his arrest.

Former President Jacob Zuma hosts Police Minister Bheki Cele at his Nkandla homestead on 18 February 2021. Picture: Twitter/@DZumaSambudla

JOHANNESBURG - The nation is now waiting to see how Police Minister Bheki Cele is going to deal with the Jacob Zuma matter as well as his hordes of supporters who have vowed to prevent his arrest.

Zuma has been sentenced by the Constitutional Court to 15 months in jail for refusing to appear before the state capture commission and ignoring the Constitutional Court's instructions to do so.

His supporters are adamant that they won't allow police to take him in and will defend him physically.

But with level four lockdown regulations banning any public gatherings and the 9pm curfew in place, this might prove a challenge.

"He is not even going to serve one day or one minute of that - they would have to kill me before they put their hands on him."

Former President Jacob Zuma's son, Edward, has not minced his words about where he stands.

And with the kind of support that Zuma senior commands, it's highly likely that they will be in place to make sure that the former president is well shielded ahead of the midnight deadline for his custody.

The question now remains - how is the law going to be enforced if police are met with resistance?

Police Minister Bheki Cele's spokesperson Lirandzu Themba said that it would have to be a fine balancing act.

"While the constitutional obligations are quite clear, they will have to uphold the law, they will not do this at the expense of people's lives," Themba said.

On Monday, Cele said that he wouldn't rush to arrest Zuma and that they hoped that the Constitutional Court would give clarity on the next step forward.

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