Former president Jacob Zuma. Picture: Michele Spatari/Pool via AP/African News Agency (ANA)

Durban – Former president Jacob Zuma’s leave to appeal the refusal of a permanent stay of the graft charges he faces was denied with costs by a full bench of the Pietermaritzburg High Court on Friday.

The leave to appeal for French arms manufacturer Thales was also dismissed with costs.

Advocate Muzi Sikhakhane, for Zuma, had last week argued in the same court that another court may come to a different decision to the October ruling handed down by judges Jerome Mnguni, Esther Steyn and Thoba Poyo-Dlwati.

Sikhakhane said the judges had made “errors in law” in coming to their decision. 

Thales had also contended that another court would come to a different conclusion, having said repeatedly that the company would not receive a fair trial should the matter get that far. The company has already applied to be heard before the apex court. 

Judge Mnguni read the order on Friday, but not the entire judgment, saying the judges were “engaged in other matters”.

“Mr Zuma’s leave to appeal is dismissed with costs. Such costs will include the appointment of two counsel. Thales’ leave to appeal is dismissed with costs, such costs to include employment of two counsel,” said Mnguni.

The case relates to the multi-billion rand arms deal of the 1990s.

Zuma is accused number one and is facing one count of racketeering; two counts of corruption, one count of money laundering and 12 counts of fraud for allegedly receiving bribe money from Thales via his former financial adviser, Schabir Shaik.

Thales is accused number two and is facing one count of racketeering; two counts of corruption and one count of money laundering. 

It has been alleged that the money paid to Zuma via Shaik was for “political protection” for the company when the deal was set to be probed.

Shaik was found guilty of two counts of corruption and one of fraud in 2005 and sentenced to 15 years in prison. He was released on medical parole in 2009.

* This is a developing story.

African News Agency/ANA