President Zuma Compassionate Leave to attend brothers funeral.
President Zuma Compassionate Leave to attend brothers funeral. Photo: Twitter

Social media is on fire Wednesday night as the stroke of midnight fast approaches and different sides argue over whether former President Jacob Zuma should or should not be arrested. The midnight deadline was set by the Constitutional Court for the South African Police Service (SAPS) to arrest him if he had not handed himself in by midnight on Sunday (which he clearly did not).

Zuma was sentenced to 15 months’ imprisonment last week by the Constitutional Court (ConCourt) for defying an order to appear before the Zondo Commission of Enquiry. His lawyers challenged the sentence, and ConCourt agreed to hear Zuma’s application on 12 July. However he was still meant to hand himself in or be arrested. Earlier today his lawyers asked ConCourt to suspend its order for SAPS to arrest him, pending the outcome of his 12 July challenge.

Videos have surfaced showing an endless stream of police vehicles allegedly on their way to Nkandla, but News24 reports that early this evening police were turned away as Zuma’s lawyers are “locked” in a meeting.

Supporters have rallied around Zuma’s Nkandla home. Some say the police may be waiting for 21h00 when they can begin arresting people for breaking the curfew in SA (which is currently in place due to the Covid-19 pandemic). Others say perhaps Zuma is already on his way across the border in someone’s boot.

Mostly though people are resorting to South African humour, sharing jokes and memes, to pass the time until the stroke of midnight…

Meanwhile at Nkandla:

22h33, Wednesday:

Update: 23h06: The ambulance has now been granted entry.

Apparently the motorcade includes vehicles from SAPS’ Presidential Protection Unit.

UPDATE: Jacob Zuma is handing himself in to police, according to his Foundation.