Inside Nkandla: The emotional hours leading to Zuma’s imminent arrest
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FRIENDS and family members who are close to former President Jacob Zuma have opened up about the intense feelings of anxiety as the news of his imminent arrest drew closer and closer to home.
Speaking to the Daily News they spoke of how they were constantly briefed by those with links to the intelligence on how the police planned to carry out a clean operation soon after curfew which would mean that anyone that would have been outside the gates of Nkandla would have breached the lockdown regulations.
A source close to the family who did not want to be identified in the media said that he had spent the whole week with the family to provide support during a time of great need.
He mentioned how the distressed senior wife, affectionately known as Makhumalo stressed about how she had been robbed of a chance to grow old and die next to her husband.
“I felt her pain, she spent her whole life raising their children when he was out fighting the worst agents of apartheid. She stood by her Zuma throughout, spending years without seeing him and when he finally came back she thought she would now be with him, but only for him to continue with the work of his beloved movement.
“Just when he finally retired after serving as president, his enemies within the party ensured that she was again left to keep the family together when her husband is sent to die in jail,” said the source.
They have done this family badly, added the source.
One of Zuma’s family members, who also preferred to remain unamed said: “the African National Congress can celebrate the incarceration of Zuma but those who know the sacrifices he (Zuma) made will fight back against the dictatorship that the country is experiencing.”
It is alleged that while Zuma’s adult children seemed to be relaxed, the younger ones were intensely panicking with dozens of people outside their usually quiet home.
“We had to provide counseling... the children shared their fears. The kids are not taking this very well. Those who live far never stop calling and checking if all is alright, it is painful watching them this vulnerable.
“Ubaba had to constantly tell them he’s ready to face the worst and that they should fear nothing because he was a fighter and he was ready to face the worst,” said a close friend to the family.
According to the source, Zuma’s protection services personnel were also in panic fearing the future without their long-time boss who had become a father figure to them.
Hundreds of police vehicles roamed around Eshowe, Empangeni, Nkandla, and other areas leading to Nkandla.
Taxis and buses with passengers were stopped and searched ensuring that no one was headed towards Zuma’s home and no gathering was held outside his home.
Estcourt Correctional Services Centre, where Zuma will spend his first night in prison prison where Zuma will spend his fifteen months prison sentence starting from tonight (Wednesday), became an instant area of national interest with many reporters stationed outside the prison facility, and the police presence increasingly arriving.
Edward Zuma who is the older son vowed that his father will never spend a day in jail, he said that he was ready to fight and die if anybody attempted to arrest him.
Zuma’s spokesperson Mzwanele Manyi said on Wednesday evening that Zuma’s lawyers were engaging the relevant authorities to tackle the issue of arresting him. He said that it would be malicious if Zuma was arrested without following due process.
“Zuma is innocent and the last time a man was placed in detention without trial was during the apartheid. All supporters of Zuma must know that he has done nothing wrong”.