Shaun Abrahams failed to follow procedure in corruption case, says Thales

Advocate Anton Katz said Shaun Abrahams’ decision to reinstate corruption charges against the company in 2017 was procedurally irrational.

FILE: Former NPA director Shaun Abrahams in Parliament. Picture: EWN

PIETERMARITZBURG - French arms company Thales said former National Prosecuting Authority head Shaun Abrahams failed to apply his mind and follow procedure when he decided the firm must be charged with corruption alongside Jacob Zuma for the 1990's arms deal.

Thales was seeking a permanent stay of prosecution in the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Pietermaritzburg on Tuesday.

The company was accused of bribing the former president for protection from an investigation into the controversial arms deal.

Advocate Anton Katz said Abrahams’s decision to reinstate corruption charges against the company in 2017 was procedurally irrational because he didn’t allow Thales to make representations.

“So he made his decision nine years after the event on a knee-jerk reaction,” Katz said.

But the full bench of judges reminded Katz that Abrahams did explain that he fully considered the facts on the table before deciding.

“You can’t say he was making a decision on something that was nine years ago, Mr Katz. Surely, that’s not factually correct?”

Katz hit back, saying: “In the recent memorandum that related to Mr Zuma; and yes, it contained elements about Thales, but that memorandum was in response to Mr Zuma’s representations at the end of January.”

He also said it was irrational for Abrahams to link the French arms company to the reinstatement of corruption charges against Jacob Zuma because the DA had successfully challenged the 2009 decision to drop charges against the former president but not the company.