Zuma, Thales arms deal case postponed to 8 December 2020

The case was officially postponed to December on Tuesday, in the Pietermaritzburg High Court, after it emerged that current travel restrictions would prevent key witnesses who were abroad to testify in the matter.

FILE: Former president Jacob Zuma appears in the Durban High Court on 8 June 2018 on corruption charges related to the arms deal. Picture: EWN

DURBAN – The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) says COVID-19 related travel restrictions were among the causes for the delays in the case against former president Jacob Zuma and French arms company Thales.

Zuma and Thales face corruption, fraud and racketeering charges linked to the arms deal.

The case was officially postponed to December on Tuesday, in the Pietermaritzburg High Court, after it emerged that current travel restrictions would prevent key witnesses who were abroad to testify in the matter.

The NPA’s Natasha Kara said Thales’ application for a review and request for further particulars were also among the main reasons for the postponement.

“By agreement, all parties have committed to the provisional postponement of the matter for the resolution of pretrial management issues. The matter has been postponed to 8 December 2020.”

Thales is accused of paying a R500,000 bribe to Zuma for protection in any arms deal investigation.

It wants the racketeering charge against it to be declared unconstitutional – invalid and set aside.

The company reportedly threatened to sue the NPA for what it calls malicious prosecution that harmed its reputation.

Meanwhile, the Jacob Zuma Foundation has called for charges against the former statesman to be removed from the roll until the dispute between Thales and the prosecuting authority is resolved.

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