Zuma asks ConCourt to suspend his arrest in last ditch to stay out of jail

Siviwe Feketha Political reporter
Advocate Dali Mpofu and former president Jacob Zuma as Zuma
Advocate Dali Mpofu and former president Jacob Zuma as Zuma

Former president Jacob Zuma has pleaded with the Constitutional Court to direct police minister Bheki Cele and the SAPS to halt his planned arrest by midnight on Wednesday..

Zuma reiterated that he would be prejudiced if he was jailed before his current challenges against his 15-month imprisonment were finalised.

This came as Cele indicated that he would execute a directive by the apex court that he be arrested by Wednesday after he failed to hand himself over to police by midnight on Sunday.

Zuma was found in contempt of court after he refused to abide by the ConCourt order that he obeys the summonses of the Zondo commission, which requested him to attend its proceedings and testify on state capture allegations.

Zuma also refused to participate in the commission’s successful application to the ConCourt for him to be charged with contempt.

Cele and national commissioner Gen Khehla Sithole asked for the same suspension from the court but by Wednesday night it was not clear whether they had received a response or not.

In the last ditch to block his arrest, Zuma’s lawyer Mongezi Ntanga told the court that the police were planning to arrest him by midnight and that he wanted the planned action by Cele and the SAPS suspended until his current court challenges were finalised.

Ntanga asked the court to suspend the orders that Zuma hands himself over and that he be arrested upon failure to do so as he said he awaited the ruling on his arrest interdict by the Pietermaritzburg high court as well as his rescission application.

The high court is on Friday scheduled to deliver its ruling on the interdict application, which was heard on Tuesday.

“There is prejudice on the life of our client in the event of the judgment of the high court ordering a suspension of the committal orders, alternatively the Constitutional Court rescinding its orders,” Ntanga said.

He said he under understood that the direction for the suspension of the arrest by the ConCourt would be binding on the high court, whose ruling could not been effective if it dismissed the interdict on Friday.

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