Former president Jacob Zuma’s last-minute appeal on Tuesday to have the order for his arrest and committal postponed was granted by Pietermaritzburg high court judge Jerome Mnguni in less than a minute on Friday.
Zuma surrendered to police approximately 40 minutes before midnight on Wednesday — his arrest had been scheduled for midnight — and was transferred to the Estcourt Correctional Centre via his presidential convoy at about 2.20 a.m. on Thursday.
“With costs, the application is dismissed. I’m the one who makes the decision. Mnguni remarked, “Court is dismissed,” without reading the entire ruling into the record.
When the ruling is received, Fuse Magazine will publish it.
Zuma supporters had been involved in irregular, disruptive protests since the early hours of Friday in an attempt to “close down KZN,” as reported by Fuse Magazine on Wednesday night.
Heavy cars and burning tires clogged main roadways. Tipper trucks were strewn with trash bags and sand, and vehicles were stoned. By 10 a.m., Durban Metro Police and SAPS had lifted most of the roadblocks, and traffic was flowing again.
Dudu Zuma-Sambudla, Zuma’s daughter, appeared to be filming the “revolution” to release her father via Twitter.
She withdrew a tweet portraying President Cyril Ramaphosa being shot at shortly after it was shared, as users accused her of instigating violence.
Duduzane, Dudu’s younger brother, also used Twitter to keep track of what was going on.
It’s unclear whether the twins had been out in the cold with Zuma’s fans since 4 a.m., or if they were Tweeting from their couches.
Protesters have promised to continue their demonstrations over the weekend.
The protests, according to police minister Bheki Cele, who was in Empangeni on Friday, were political.
Zuma’s foundation issued the following statement minutes before midnight on Wednesday: “Dear South Africans and the World. Please be reminded that President Zuma has opted to obey the restraining order. He’s on his way to a Correctional Services Facility in KwaZulu-Natal. In due course, a detailed statement will be issued.”
Lirandzu Themba, the police ministry’s spokesperson, said Zuma was in arrest fifteen minutes later, in accordance with the Constitutional Court’s decision.
On Tuesday of last week, the Supreme Court found the 79-year-old in contempt of its earlier-in-the-year order that he appear before the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture. He was then sentenced to 15 months in direct imprisonment.
He was given until Sunday to turn himself in, after which the minister of police and national commissioner was ordered to arrest him by midnight on Wednesday.