In the last seven days, things have moved at a frenetic pace for Jacob Zuma – and those trying to make him face the music. Since he was sentenced to a 15-month stretch in prison, Msholozi has fought tooth and nail to avoid the slammer. Overnight, it looked as if Bheki Cele would help him with that, but the police minister has now changed his tone.
A u-turn to Nkandla? Bheki Cele signals change in tone
In a letter addressed to the Constitutional Court, Mr. Cele explained that he would not give the order to arrest Jacob Zuma ‘until his court challenges are finalised’. That, however, would be in direct violation of the guidance given by ConCourt – to the point where the top cop himself could be found guilty of contempt.
This legal shock to the system has seemingly changed Cele’s outlook. He appeared on Newzroom Afrika this morning to clarify his stance on the Zuma saga. The minister is now arguing that his initial hesitancy was to allow ‘space’ for legal proceedings to develop naturally – but ultimately, SAPS will be guided by ConCourt’s directive.
“Who am I to tell the court [anything]? There were no ifs and buts, it was a straight issue, until these twists and turns came up. All we are doing is seeking clarification, and we are not opposing. Whatever the court tells us to do, we’ll do it.”
“We are not lawyers, we are at the end tail where we take instructions… We are still bound by any direction that the office of the DCJ gives to us. We are not saying we’ll sit there and wait, what we are doing, is creating space for things to be finalised. Whatever direction is given to us, we will take it.” | Bheki Cele
Police Minister says Jacob Zuma ‘can be arrested this week’
Cele was also pushed to explain if his new stance meant that we could expect to see the arrest of Jacob Zuma this week – and the hatted minister believes that this should happen by Thursday. He explains that he is giving uBaba until the last possible minute to hand himself over – otherwise, once the clock strikes midnight tomorrow, Zuma WILL be detained.
“We have written the letter and the onus is on the ConCourt to direct us. If we DO NOT receive that, we have a direction that ends at midnight on Wednesday. If we then receive no NEW direction, before that time… the South African Police WILL have to arrest Jacob Zuma, if he doesn’t hand himself in. We only have two days to go with this.”