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Thales approaches ConCourt over Zuma corruption trial

The company is accused of agreeing to pay former President Jacob Zuma R500,000 annually for protection from an investigation into the multi-billion rand arms deal.

Former president Jacob Zuma outside the state capture commission on 19 July 2019. Picture: Abigail Javier/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - French arms company Thales approached the Constitutional Court on Tuesday for leave to appeal the Pietermaritzburg High Court ruling, which dismissed its application for a stay of prosecution.

The company is accused of agreeing to pay former President Jacob Zuma R500,000 annually for protection from an investigation into the multi-billion rand arms deal.

* Jacob Zuma is 'sick' & can't appear at state capture inquiry

Last month, the Pietermaritzburg High Court dismissed an application by Zuma and Thales for a permanent stay of prosecution and set a provisional trial date for February next year.

On Friday last week, Zuma filed his papers in the Pietermaritzburg High Court also seeking to appeal the court’s decision.

He argued that last month’s ruling dismissing his application for the corruption case to be dismissed was biased and aimed at assisting the National Prosecuting Authority in violating his constitutional rights.

He also argued it was wrong for his stay of prosecution application to be heard by a full bench of judges instead of one.

At the same time, Thales is expected to argue that it has no knowledge of any transgressions having been committed by any of its employees in relation to the awarding of the contracts for the arms deal.

Zuma’s appeal in the KwaZulu-Natal High Court and Thales’ decision to approach the highest court in the land will see further delays in the case finally getting to trial.

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