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Arms deal: Zuma, Thales back in court to resolve pre-trial issues

The accused were last seen in court in December when the matter was postponed following an application by Thales to have the racketeering charges against it dropped.

FILE: Former South African President Jacob Zuma, along with co-accused, Thales representative Christine Guerrier, appeared in the Durban High Court on 8 June 2018. He is charged with 16 counts that include fraud‚ corruption and racketeering. Picture: Felix Dlangamandla/Pool.

DURBAN - Former President Jacob Zuma and French arms company Thales are expected back in the Pietermaritzburg High Court on Tuesday but the matter is not expected to go to trial yet.

The accused were last seen in court in December when the matter was postponed following an application by Thales to have the racketeering charges against it dropped.

The former statesman and Thales face corruption, racketeering and money laundering charges linked to the multi-million rand arms deal.

An attempt by Thales to have charges of racketeering against it dropped failed last month when the Pietermaritzburg High Court dismissed its application with costs.

The French arms company has decided not to appeal the court’s decision.

Meanwhile, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has dismissed claims by the Jacob Zuma Foundation that it’s not ready to proceed with the trial.

Spokesperson Sipho Ngwema: "The State is ready for the matter to go to trial and as we have indicated with the preferred date in May, however, it depends on what the judge says."

Ngwema has clarified that today was never meant to be a trial date but parties are expected to resolve outstanding pre-trial management issues and then agree on a trial date.

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