Cele rumoured to be on his way to see Zuma in Nkandla

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Police Minister Bheki Cele has given a stern warning to criminals.
Police Minister Bheki Cele has given a stern warning to criminals.

Police minister Bheki Cele was on Wednesday in a last ditch attempt to convince former president Jacob Zuma to hand himself over to police.

Cele, who has until Wednesday midnight to comply with a ConCourt order directing him to get Zuma arrested so he could start serving his 15-month sentence, could be charged with contempt of court if Zuma was not arrested by midnight.

According to sources within the ANC national executive committee (NEC), senior party leaders have requested Cele to first engage with Zuma before police move into Nkandla and arrest him.

"Even though Zuma missed an opportunity to ensure that his arrest was a dignified one by handing himself to the police as per the ConCourt's order, storming into his home and putting him in handcuffs should be a last resort.

"That's why it was felt that the police minister should first give Zuma an opportunity to hand himself to the nearest police station," the ANC NEC member said.

Zuma supporters have since Tuesday been converging outside his Nkandla home in a bid to prevent police from arresting him.

However, by Wednesday morning the Zuma supporters were yet to arrive at his Nkandla home.

Former president Jacob Zuma supporters, who threated to "form a human shield" to prevent his arrest, had by Wednesday morning not yet arrived at his Nkandla home.

Cele, who said police did not want Zuma's arrest to result in "loss of life" is rumoured to be on his way to Nkandla for a meeting with Zuma.

The ConCourt imposed the 15-month jail sentence on Zuma after he had disobeyed the court's order compelling him to appear before the Zondo Commission investigating allegations of state capture.

Zuma has lodged papers with both the Pietermaritzburg High Court and the ConCourt in a bid to have his sentence and conviction set aside.

Earlier in the week Cele wrote to the ConCourt asking the court whether police should go ahead and arrest Zuma despite the fact that the court has agreed to consider his application seeking its judgment to be set aside.

At the time, Cele said he would first wait for the ConCourt 's response.

However, on Wednesday Cele said police would arrest Zuma irrespective of whether the ConCourt has responded to his letter.

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