Scene yesterday in Nkandla where a handful of supporters were outside former president Jacob Zuma’s home before he handed himself over to police last night just before midnight. Picture: Motshwari Mofokeng
Scene yesterday in Nkandla where a handful of supporters were outside former president Jacob Zuma’s home before he handed himself over to police last night just before midnight. Picture: Motshwari Mofokeng

Briefing on Jacob Zuma’s incarceration expected today

By Willem Phungula Time of article published Jul 8, 2021

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Justice and Correctional Service Minister Ronald Lamola is expected to hold a media briefing at Estcourt Correctional Centre on Thursday to give details on how Zuma would be incarcerated.

Former president Jacob Zuma dramatically avoided arrest by 30 minutes at his Nkandla homestead on Wednesday night.

A huge contingent of about 30 police vehicles, including Inyalas, were parked less than a kilometre away from the homestead when he was whisked away by his security detail motorcade just after 11 pm.

His motorcade left towards Kranskop town, thereby avoiding the police motorcade which was coming from the Eshowe route.

A handful of Jacob Zuma’s supporters outside his Nkandla home.

Police were preparing to arrest him just before the midnight deadline, which was issued by the Constitutional Court when it handed down contempt of court judgment against him last Tuesday.

The Concourt had directed Police Minister Bheki Cele and National Police Commissioner Khehla Sitole to ensure that Zuma was escorted to begin his jail term within three days after failing to hand himself over voluntarily to police within the required five calendar days.

A few minutes before Zuma's motorcade appeared at the main gate on their way, his son Edward Zuma announced to the handful of supporters to be ready for action because something was about to happen.

A vehicle outside former president Jacob Zuma's home in Nkandla last night before he handed himself over. Picture: Motshwari Mofokeng

He shouted to supporters to quickly bring cars to block the entrance. At that time, supporters and throngs of journalists who were camped there thought he meant the police were closer. Later, a motorcade emerged from the house.

Edward tried to prevent his father from leaving as he had promised that he would rather die than allow him to go jail, but a member of his father's security shouted at him to move away, and the motorcade sped off towards Kranskop.

It later emerged that the former president had decided to hand himself over for arrest.

Before Zuma left, three ambulances arrived and said they had been called to assist him, but we're chased away by supporters.

One ambulance came back later and went inside but came out without him.

It took no time before Minister Cele's spokesperson Lirandzu Themba announced that Zuma had handed himself over.

The confirmation was quickly followed by that of Correctional Service Department spokesperson Singabakho Nxumalo who announced that Zuma was already inside their Escourt Correctional Centre.

Edward refused to give interviews after Zuma had left, but former Ukhozi FM personality and staunch Zuma supporter, Ngizwe Mchunu, shared on his Facebook page that Zuma decided to hand himself over to avoid bloodshed.

He said Zuma didn't want people to die in his name.

The former president's daughter Dudu Zuma-Sambudla tweeted and said her father was en route to Escourt.

She said he was in high spirits and said he hoped they would bring the same overalls he wore when he was jailed at Robben Island in the 70s.

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