Citizen reporter
1 minute read
22 Jan 2021
12:34 pm

NPA relishing ‘criminal hearing’ after dismissal of Thales’ racketeering challenge

Citizen reporter

The case is linked to the controversial arms deal of the 1990s.

Jacob Zuma. Picture: Pool/AFP/File/Michele Spatari

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has welcomed a ruling by the Pietermaritzburg High Court to dismiss, with costs, the application of French arms company Thales, challenging racketeering charges it faces with former president Jacob Zuma.

NPA spokesperson Sipho Ngwema said: “We look forward to the criminal hearing.”

Advocate Barry Roux, for Thales, said he had not seen the judgment dismissing the application and could not give any comment on whether the company would appeal the ruling.

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The case is linked to the controversial arms deal of the 1990s.

It was previously reported that in the review application, Roux had argued that there was no evidence that the company had knowledge of bribes allegedly paid by Schabir Shaik to Zuma.

It is alleged that through Shaik, Zuma’s then financial adviser, Thales paid bribes of R500,000 per year to the former president so that the company could be protected from an investigation into the arms deal.

Thales scored a R2.6 billion contract from the arms deal.

In an analysis handing down the order, Judge AJ Bezuidenhout said in his view it was clear “that sufficient information was placed before” former national directors of public prosecutions, Shaun Abrahams and Mokotedi Mpshe.

This led them to “rationally conclude that there was reasonable and probable cause to believe” Thales “had directly or indirectly or with common purpose participated in the enterprise run by” Shaik “through a pattern of racketeering activity compromising the planned, ongoing, continuous or repeated participation or involvement in at least two schedule 1 offences”.

Compiled by Makhosandile Zulu

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