Major General Nonhlanhla Zulu, the police officer who led the police team which persuaded former president Jacob Zuma to hand himself over, on Friday described the talks as “emotional”.

Speaking on the sidelines of police minister Bheki Cele’s media briefing in Durban, Zulu said she was grateful that Zuma finally agreed to hand himself over.

“We told him that as police we are doing everything in our power to avoid a situation where we would be taking him away against his will. Eventually, he agreed.

“It was a very emotional situation to have to persuade him to leave his family. But as police we had no other option as the Constitutional Court had instructed us to ensure that the warrant of arrest is effected,” she said.

Zuma, who initially resisted arrest, was eventually taken to the Estcourt Correctional Services Centre, where he has begun serving his 15 month jail sentence on Thursday morning.

Cele commended Zulu for her “outstanding negotiation skills”.

“We are extremely proud of her. What she accomplished is proof of the depth of talent within the police service,” he said.

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