DURBAN – The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and the defence teams of former president Jacob Zuma and French arms manufacturer Thales are expected on Friday to settle on a date to argue whether the high stakes fraud and corruption trial should begin.
KwaZulu-Natal NPA spokesperson Natasha Kara on Thursday, confirmed a date would be set at the Pietermaritzburg High Court in order for the legal teams to argue for and against a permanent stay of prosecution.
“The date is going to be set for the representations to be argued. I don’t expect the proceedings to be particularly long unless another issue arises,” said Kara.
The trial, which is yet to begin, is linked to the controversial R60-billion defence force arms deal concluded in 1999, which saw several multi-national companies around the world providing technology and equipment.
It is alleged that Thales paid bribes to Zuma -- via Zuma’s then financial adviser Schabir Shaik -- in order to protect the company from a probe into the arms deal, in which Thales had secured a lucrative R2.6-billion contract to supply combat systems for the South African navy.