French arms firm to appeal Zuma corruption charge ruling in South Africa's top court
| Nov 5th 2019 | 2 min read
French defense firm Thales said on Tuesday it would ask South Africa’s highest court for permission to appeal an October ruling dismissing its request to have charges that it bribed former President Jacob Zuma permanently dropped.
Thales is accused of agreeing to pay Zuma 500,000 rand ($34,000) annually for protection from an investigation into a $2 billion arms deal in 1999.
The charges against Thales and Zuma were originally filed a decade ago but then set aside by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), paving the way for Zuma to successfully run for president in 2009.
The charges were reinstated in March 2018 by the NPA following appeals and lobbying by opposition parties and local anti-corruption groups.
In mid-October the Pietermaritzburg High Court dismissed an application by Zuma and Thales for a permanent stay of prosecution and set a provisional trial date of Feb. 4, 2020.
“Thales confirms that on 1 November 2019 it applied to the Constitutional Court of South Africa for leave to appeal the High Court’s decision which dismissed its challenge to the lawfulness of the decision to reinstate charges against it,” the French firm said in a statement.
Zuma has also said he will appeal the decision, meaning the trial would likely begin only in late in 2020.
Thales’ local public relations firm did not immediately reply to an email sent by Reuters seeking details of the argument it would make in the appeal application.
Thales, known as Thompson-CSF in 1999, has consistently argued that it has no knowledge of any transgressions having been committed by any of its employees in relation to the awarding of the contracts.
Treasury's budget cuts laudibleKenyans welcome the acting National Treasury CS Ukur Yatani’s admission that the ministry has learnt to cut its coat according to its cloth
When Njonjo almost resigned over coffee smugglersKnown as the era of black gold, it began in 1976 when Ugandan farmers decided to sell their coffee in the private market.
Mirema Drive shooting: Suspect in Samuel Mugota's murder surrenders
- Servers were opened, 'reveals' IEBC commissioner Justus Nyangaya
By Mate Tongola
- Come clean on your deal with Kingi, UDA leaders urge Ruto
By Patrick Beja
- Developing story: IEBC meets presidential aspirants
- Contractor to restore old lanes on Mombasa Road
- Kalonzo under pressure to return to Azimio fold