Citizen Reporter
Reporter
2 minute read
14 Aug 2021
12:41 pm

Myeni’s call to Sitole ‘averted a blood-stained confrontation’ between Zuma’s supporters, police in Nkandla – report

Citizen Reporter

Sources claimed that Sitole had two strategies to deal with Zuma's arrest.

Picture File: Former president Jacob Zuma with former SAA chairwoman Dudu Myeni during his visit at Airways Park on 6 May 2016 in Johannesburg. Picture: Gallo Images / Sunday Times / Kevin Sutherland

It has reportedly emerged that on the night that former president Jacob Zuma handed himself over to police to start serving his 15-month jail sentence – there were tough marathon negotiations between the police’s top brass and his team.

According to a News24 report, at the centre of the talks was former South African Airways (SAA) board chairperson Dudu Myeni and National Police Commissioner General Khehla Sitole.

Senior police sources, who spoke to the news website on condition of anonymity, claimed that on, 7 July 2021, Myeni made a “frantic call” to Sitole just five minutes before the police’s special forces were ready to pounce on Zuma’s Nkandla compound to arrest him.

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Myeni, a close ally of Zuma, was reportedly calling to inform Sitole that Zuma had agreed to hand himself over to police to start serving his jail sentence for being in contempt of the Constitutional Court (ConCourt).

Apparently, Myeni’s call at 22:55 “averted a blood-stained confrontation” between Zuma’s supporters who were picketing outside his home, and the special forces team that was awaiting Sitole’s instruction to invade the compound.

Sitole had apparently instructed the special forces to arrest Zuma after several failed attempts by police senior officials to persuade him to hand himself over at a police station.

On that day, the national commissioner was reportedly in contact with Zuma and Myeni throughout the course of the day. He also ran a command centre from the South African Reserve Bank in Pretoria, known as “NatCom”.

Sources claimed that Sitole had two strategies to deal with Zuma’s arrest.

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The first one was a “soft strategy” that involved convincing Zuma to hand himself over to police, and the “hard strategy” entailed the special forces invading his home.

News24 reported: “At 22:50, Sitole informed Myeni the soft strategy had not worked and that the second strategy would now be implemented. Five minutes later, at approximately 22:55, Myeni called Sitole to inform him that Zuma would surrender himself, the source said.”

In June, Zuma was sentenced to 15-months in jail by the ConCourt for his failure to obey orders to appear and testify before the Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture. He was serving his jail term at the  Estcourt Correctional Centre in KZN.

The former president has been admitted to hospital for medical observation for an undisclosed illness.

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