Wednesday, 07 July 2021 22:43

By Lehlohonolo Lehana.

An ambulance tried to gain access to the Nkandla homestead at about 10.30pm but was denied by the singing crowd led by former president Jacob Zuma’s son Edward, as they suspected the vehicle may have been part of a ruse to arrest Zuma.

With less than two hours before before the midnight deadline, officials from the South African Police Service (SAPS) were reportedly on their way to Nkandla, while another motorcade had entered the premises.

Edward, who has declared that he would die before his father gets arrested, also tried to stop the motorcade from entering his father’s homestead, saying they would have to drive over him. He told news reporters shortly before 10pm that he would be able to fight off a million men with the stick he was carrying.

He added cryptically that his father "is in South Africa", without answering whether Zuma was still at Nkandla.

The crowd has said they do not care about the 9pm Covid-lockdown curfew, nor are they expressing concern about the spread of the virus.

Meanwhile the specialist force of riot police officers which has been on standby all day is now bound for Jacob Zuma's Nkandla homestead.

• Public Order Policing Unit officers with armoured vehicles and water cannons have left a staging zone in Eshowe.

• The unit specialises in crowd control and is understood to have been deployed in anticipation of resistance from Zuma's supporters.

• Curfew has now passed and if his supporters remain on the street, and do not qualify as essential service workers, they would be in contravention of the Disaster Management Regulations.

Addressing the media earlier, Zuma’s diehard supporter Carl Niehaus said Zuma’s advocate, Dali Mpofu, was engaging with authorities. Niehaus called on the police to "behave" themselves.

"I’m aware that his legal team, advocate Dali Mpofu, is engaging with the authorities. I spoke to Mpofu before I arrived here at Nkandla telephonically. I cannot comment on whether he [Zuma] will be handing himself to the police but I do know that Zuma has made it clear that he is not in favour of this arrest," he said.

Zuma’s lawyers wrote to the Constitutional Court (ConCourt) requesting a directive that the execution of the committal order for his arrest be suspended pending the outcome of the high court’s decision on Friday and the ConCourt application on 12 July.

The ConCourt sentenced the former president to 15 months in prison after finding him guilty of contempt of court last week.