Sitting here on a cold Wednesday evening watching the newsreels flicker by and seeing all the pictures of police vans driving about in KZN and the fake videos of helicopters and SWAT-type tactical teams circling amid the growing hype and drama of Zuma’s impending arrest, I had to wonder what on earth is so hard about arresting the man.
If he were just some common criminal hiding out in fleabag motels on the lam and wearing disguises like an African Jason Bourne, then maybe finding him and cuffing him would be a challenge.
Similarly, one could be fooled into a false sense of the difficulty of the matter when seeing the masses of people surrounding his compound and vowing to die in defence of their leader – many of them wearing the kind of garb that gave the British empire a bloody nose at Isandlwana.
But Jacob Zuma isn’t just a normal guy. He is always surrounded by personal protection officers, and they are policemen.
News24 reported this evening that his bodyguards were ordered to “stand down” ahead of him being arrested and that they’re “fiercely loyal” to him.
Fine. But he doesn’t pay their salaries. The state does. If the police commissioner or the minister were to order them to simply cuff the man, put him in an X5 and drive out with him, then who would stop them? Would they defy that instruction and risk becoming criminals themselves?
It’s a weird time.
No doubt Zuma has thought of this and probably issued instructions to the MKMVA types to stop his personal policemen from arresting him, all of which points to the madness this whole situation has plunged the country into.
Surely Zuma and his supporters need to understand that his arrest and detention are unavoidable if the Constitutional Court decides not to entertain his latest pleas, and to send off a letter to the ConCourt as they came to the end of their workday smacks of madness.
The ConCourt doesn’t have a 24-hour drive-thru service.
Anything other than compliance will be absurd. Even if he only goes to jail for the next few days, it just seems like it’ll have to be done.
Obviously, events move fast and by the time you read this Zuma may already be in prison. Or something even more miraculous may have happened.