Former president Jacob Zuma with his legal counsel in the Pietermaritzburg High Court. Zuma's application for a permanent stay of his corruption prosecution was on Friday dismissed with costs by the court. File picture: Leon Lestrade/African News Agency(ANA).

JOHANNESBURG - The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) on Friday said it "welcomed" the Pietermaritzburg High Court judgment that turned down an application for a permanent stay from prosecution lodged by former president Jacob Zuma and French company Thales.

The ruling was handed down by Judges Thoba Poyo-Dlwati, Bhekisisa Mnguni and Esther Steyn. They dismissed the applications with costs.

Zuma and Thales are implicated in graft allegations dating back more than a decade, which are linked to the arms deal. The on-off matter, which was reinstated last year, will now proceed in the same court on Tuesday.

Commenting on the ruling, IFP Chief Whip in Parliament Narend Singh, said: "The reinstatement of these charges by the high court last year was a victory for the rule of law in our country".  

Singh said the former president was shielded when his financial advisor Schabir Shaik was tried and convicted for the same charges of fraud and corruption.

"The IFP is confident with the new leadership at the helm of the NPA that it will clamp down on those who may have been formerly “politically protected” and send a clear message that corruption has no place in our democratic dispensation," said Singh.

"Corruption has been the biggest enemy of progress in our country and it is high time that South Africans see those responsible for looting state coffers face the full might of the law."

Singh said the IFP will closely monitor developments in this case and will continue to support the judiciary in its free and fair application of the rule of law in our country.

African News Agency (ANA)