Former president Jacob Zuma. Picture: Siphiwe Sibeko/ Reuters/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Johannesburg - Former president Jacob Zuma’s legal team has until Friday to submit a court application seeking a permanent stay of prosecution of his corruption charges. 

If the application succeeds, Zuma could see his corruption charges reviewed and set aside. 

The former president is facing 16 charges of corruption, fraud, money laundering and racketeering, linked to 783 payments that Thales allegedly made to Zuma to secure a contract for the supply of arms system combat.

 Zuma is charged along with arms deal with manufacturer Thales Holdings. 

He made his last appearance in court in July where his legal team sought a postponement so that legal papers challenging the charges could be heard. 

The charges against Zuma were reinstated earlier this year by former NPA boss Shaun Abrahams. 

It is expected that Zuma’s legal team will stress the long-protracted timeframe that the case has remained unresolved. 

Meanwhile, Thales has filed court papers at the KwaZulu-Natal High Court challenging the corruption charges. The company believes it is unlikely to receive a fair trial and is seeking that the charges be reviewed and dismissed. 

Abrahams had dismissed the company’s submissions for a stay of prosecutions in July.

NPA spokesperson Luvuyo Mfaku said at the time that the representations made by the company had been rejected and that the NPA had confidence in its case.

"We have rejected their representations. We firmly believe that there are prospects of a successful prosecution," said Mfaku. 

Thales has maintained that it does not believe that it will receive a fair trial. 
 
"Bearing in mind the very long delay of this procedure – through no fault of Thales at all – together with a range of factors beyond its control, Thales believes it cannot obtain a fair trial, as it is entitled to under the South-African Constitution and international law," said the company. 
 
"Thales reiterates that it has no knowledge of any transgressions having been committed by any of its employees in relation to the awarding of the contract for the combat systems for South Africa's corvettes (the Arms Deal in 1999)."

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