Zuma to ‘address the nation’ on Sunday

Getrude Makhafola

Former president Jacob Zuma, who is facing a 15-month jail sentence, will make a public address on Sunday from Nkandla at 18:00, according to the Jacob Zuma Foundation.

The foundation put out a statement on Saturday after the Constitutional Court agreed to hear his contempt rescission case.

Zuma would then turn to the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Pietermaritzburg on Tuesday, where an urgent application to interdict Police Minister Bheki Cele from effecting his arrest will be heard, according to a tweet by the foundation on Friday night.

But on Saturday the Constitutional Court said it will hear Zuma’s rescission application on 12 July.

The Constitutional Court gave Zuma until Sunday to hand himself over at the nearest police station and start serving his 15-months in jail. The apex court sentenced him for contempt of court after he failed to honor its summons to appear before the Zondo Commission.

In his latest move to the courts, Zuma on Friday filed papers in the Constitutional Court, asking it to hear evidence in mitigation of sentence, citing health issues.

Outside his homestead in Nkandla, his supporters vowed to physically defend him from the impending arrest.

On Friday, Zuma’s staunch supporter Carl Neihaus said there would be unrest in the country should the former president be taken to jail. He was speaking during a media briefing by the uMkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA). The threats of violence by Zuma’s supporters led to the ANC national executive committee cancelling its meeting this weekend to attend to the stand-off in Nkandla.

A delegation of 10 senior ANC leaders has been deployed to intervene, along with KwaZulu-Natal party leaders. 

In the judgment delivered by Justice Sisi Khampepe on Tuesday, the Constitutional Court directed Police Minister Bheki Cele and commissioner Khehla Sitole to ensure that the former president starts his sentence within three days, should he fail to hand himself over on Sunday.