‘We will abide by whatever the court tells us to do’: Bheki Cele on Zuma’s arrest

06 July 2021 - 11:43
Police minister Bheki Cele (centre) speaks to people before receiving the Covid-19 vaccine at Orlando Stadium in Soweto, Johannesburg, on July 5 2021.
Police minister Bheki Cele (centre) speaks to people before receiving the Covid-19 vaccine at Orlando Stadium in Soweto, Johannesburg, on July 5 2021.
Image: SUNDAY TIMES/ALAISTER RUSSELL

Police minister Bheki Cele on Tuesday morning said that his ministry will abide by any action the court instructs them to take against former president Jacob Zuma.

This after the police ministry wrote to the Constitutional Court saying they will not enact the order pending the outcome of legal challenges to the apex court’s ruling — unless the court directs them otherwise.

“We are not lawyers, we are not in the courts. We are at the tail end, where we take instructions. That is the reason we say that we will still be bound by any direction the office of the chief justice has given to us.

“We are not saying we will sit and wait. We are saying we are looking at space for the things to be finalised. If not finalised, we are here to listen to what direction is given to us and we will take that direction.

“We will abide by the court. Whatever it tells us to do, we will do it,” Cele said during an interview on Newzroom Afrika.

This while the lawyers for Zuma will on Tuesday try to prevent his arrest being executed, pending the outcome of his rescission application to the Constitutional Court, which is set down for next Monday.

Zuma has applied to the high court for a stay of execution. The ConCourt last week sentenced him to 15 months in jail after it found him guilty of contempt of court — this after the former president refused to obey the apex court's judgment that he appear before the Zondo commission.

THE LAW EXPLAINED | Will Jacob Zuma report to police on Wednesday or be arrested?

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He has also applied to the ConCourt to rescind its decision to sentence him to time behind bars.

Should the Pietermaritzburg high court on Tuesday rule that it does not have the jurisdiction to hear the matter and refer it back to the apex court, Cele said they have until Wednesday midnight to act against Zuma.

“If there is no new direction, we have a direction that ends at midnight on Wednesday. The direction is that if Mr Zuma does not hand himself over to the SA Police Service, we will have to arrest him. That instruction is for the minister and the national commissioner ... and we have almost two days to play around that.”

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