Will he or won't he? Hours remain before Cele is compelled to arrest Zuma

Police ministry spokesperson Lirandzu Themba said many things could still happen before the midnight deadline, but if there was no word from the Constitutional Court by then, they would make the arrest.

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

JOHANNESBURG - Police Minister Bheki Cele has just over 10 hours to meet his deadline to arrest former President Jacob Zuma and he said he would do so if there would be no clarity from the Constitutional Court before midnight.

On Monday, Cele and National Commissioner Khehla Sitole wrote to the apex court asking if they should wait for Zuma's legal applications to be finalised first before handcuffing the former president.

But they've not yet heard back from the apex court, which has sentenced Zuma to 15 months in jail.

READ:

- ANALYSIS: Jacob Zuma: When did the erstwhile SA revolutionary lose his way?

- Cele: Onus now on ConCourt to give clarity on Zuma arrest

- Cele tells ConCourt all legal issues must be sorted before he arrests Zuma

Police ministry spokesperson Lirandzu Themba said many things could still happen before the midnight deadline, but if there was no word from the Constitutional Court by then, they would make the arrest.

“Come midnight, we would have to comply with the Constitutional Court's judgment, so as things stand with the waiting, and we do have hours, really, and a lot can happen,” she said.

Over the weekend, Zuma's supporters gathered outside his Nkandla home in violation of lockdown regulations.

They said they wouldn't allow the former president to go to jail.

Officers said they were not scared of the armed men who had gathered illegally, but they didn't move in and enforce the law because they wanted to avoid bloodshed.

Themba said the enforcement of the law could not take place at the expense of people's lives.

“The minister is quite confident that the KwaZulu-Natal police commissioner as well as his team, even at national level, are very capable of handling the situation that may arise.”

It remains to be seen if Zuma's supporters will gather around his compound ahead of that midnight deadline.

Download the Eyewitness News app to your iOS or Android device.