Thales claims it will not receive fair trial in Zuma corruption case
Johannesburg - French arms manufacturer Thales says it does not believe it will receive a fair trial in the corruption case involving former president Jacob Zuma.
The company says it is considering a number of legal options available to defend itself.
Thales is a co-accused in the arms deal corruption case against Zuma.
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.
Earlier this week, the National Director of Public Prosecutions Shaun Abrahams rejected Thales' representations motivating for the charges to be dropped.
The NPA said it believes there are prospects of a successful prosecution.
Thales said, in a statement on Friday, that it notes the NPA's decision, but still believes that the delays in the case made it clear that it will not 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)."
A representative of the company did not make an appearance on Friday when Zuma made his third appearance at the Pietermaritzburg High Court.
Judge Isaac Madondo had excused the representative from attending.
The case was postponed to November 30.
Zuma’s new legal team headed by Advocate Michael Hellens plans to file court papers motivating for a permanent halting of the prosecution.IOL