Zuma trial is just another day for car guards who've seen it all
'The thing with this place is that everyone is the same,' say pair from their post outside the Durban High Court
For Durban High Court car guards Marlen and Cindy Jordan – who have watched the guilty and innocent pass before lady justice – everyone is equal before the law.
From his seat in the shade that overlooks the teeming Margaret Mncadi Avenue which flanks the court house, Marlen earnestly greets a passing judge on his way to lunch.
“Me, I have been here for long now. Cindy and I have been looking after the cars here for 16 years. I know a lot of the people here. Some of the judges and advocates greet me and I greet them back,” he said, slowly wringing a stained pink towel in his hands.
“The thing with this place is that everyone is the same. It doesn’t matter who you are … you can be a president and it doesn’t matter, you are the same in this room. If you have done the crime then there is some time waiting for you,” he said.
From the fringes, the husband and wife have watched the trial of fraudster Schabir Shaik play out and they have seen the snipers on the roof for the appearance of the so-called Cato Manor “death squad”.Judgment has been passed on thousands of others, both guilty and innocent, most of them probably not even noticing the Jordans.
And even though their takings will be lessened by road closures in the court precinct on Friday, they will be there to watch the erstwhile president summit the steps.
Zuma and French arms company Thint have both been served with a summons to appear on corruption charges relating to the company's alleged R500‚000 bribe deal with Zuma, in which he was paid to protect Thint from any possible arms deal investigations.
The state believes that money was to be used to pay for Zuma's Nkandla renovations.
“We have seen all these high-profile cases coming to this court,” Cindy chimes in.
“It’s been so long since we started here and we have seen all these people coming and going. The only problem with tomorrow is that it will affect us because not so many people will be parking but we’ll come anyway to see Zuma,” she said.
The Jordans started their tenure on the Esplanade after a friend who watched cars outside the court complained that she was overwhelmed.
“It’s a long road and there were lots of cars being broken into. We knew her from the flats and she asked for help and that’s how we got started,” Marlen said.
The couple, who have no children, live in Baker Street in Albert Park, an area which flanks the field where Zuma’s night vigil will be held.
Thousands of those loyal to him were spending Thursday night there before marching to the courtroom steps on Friday morning.
The inner circle of those orchestrating the public support campaign include controversial business forums, funeral parlour bosses and men of the cloth.
Hundreds of police officers, including crowd control and riot units have been placed on alert, with authorities warning motorists and the public to steer clear of the Durban High Court Precinct.