Former President Jacob Zuma has spent his first night at the Estcourt Correctional Services facility in KwaZulu-Natal. Police had warned they were prepared to arrest the 79-year-old if he did not hand himself in by midnight on Wednesday.
The former President was given a 15-month jail term by the Constitutional Court last week for contempt of court, after failing to abide by the Constitutional Court’s order to appear before the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture.
Correctional Services’ spokesperson, Singabakho Nxumalo says Zuma will be taken through all admission processes.
Zuma handed himself over to Correctional Services, less than an hour before the expiration of the deadline for police to arrest him.
Dear South Africans and the World.
Please be advised that President Zuma has decided to comply with the incarceration order.
He is on his way to hand himself into a Correctional Services Facility in KZN.
A full statement will be issued in due course.#WenzenuZuma
— JGZuma Foundation (Official) (@JGZ_Foundation) July 7, 2021
This was despite a last-ditch effort by Zuma’s lawyers to approach the Constitutional Court to stay his arrest until another judgment linked to this case is handed down by the Pietermaritzburg High Court tomorrow or until the Constitutional Court hears the rescission application next week.
I just saw @PresJGZuma before he left for prison. He was strong as usual. This is heartbreaking. I am heartbroken and very angry. ??
— Carl Niehaus (@niehaus_carl) July 7, 2021
SABC reporter Samkele Maseko shares more details about the former President’s decision to hand himself over.
“We spoke to two sources who did engage with the former President and he told them he does not want any bloodshed. He wants to go and hand himself over. He told his comrades he wants no bloodshed. Hence, the police decided to hold in absents in arresting of the former President. We do know that there were reports that the Constitutional Court judges were meeting that has come to fruition. That may not be true and instead, there were negotiations with the former President choosing to avoid any further bloodshed.”
Just spoke @PresJGZuma en route and he is still in high spirits. He said that he hopes they still have his same overalls from Robben Island and we laughed hard that at least he won’t struggle with Afrikaans this time round. We salute dad! Amandla ✊?✊?✊?!!! pic.twitter.com/ooLngCSDXg
— Dudu Zuma-Sambudla (@DZumaSambudla) July 7, 2021