French arms company accused of bribing Jacob Zuma says NPA has no evidence
Durban - The French arms manufacturing company which is accused of bribing former president Jacob Zuma in the late 1990s says there is no evidence it committed the alleged offence.
Thales, which won lucrative contracts to supply arms to the government, is a co-accused in the high profile corruption trial which will return to the Pietermaritzburg High Court on September 8 this year.
However, in what could significantly weaken the State’s case against the former president, Thales wants the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to drop the racketeering (organised criminal activity) charge against it and it has since launched a review application with the courts.
Thales argues that the way the NPA filed the charge is vague and thus not giving the company enough information to prepare its defence.
On June 23 this year, shortly after the case was postponed by Pietermaritzburg high court judge, Kate Pillay, Advocate Barry Roux SC (senior counsel) who is leading Thales’s legal team told Independent Media that the reason they have launched a court challenge was that they want the charge to be struck from the charge sheet as even the NPA was unable to justify its inclusion.
On the same matter and on the same day, Zuma’s legal representative, Advocate Muzi Sikhakhane SC explained to Independent Media that the NPA had not issued the mandatory legal certificate that should accompany the charge.
The certificate should show what information they have used to formulate the charge and how they intend to pursue it against Thales.
As the review application drags in court, Thales has since accused the NPA of not having any evidence.