Zuma, Thales back in court

File photo of former President Jacob Zuma in the dock during a brief appearance at the Durban High Court.
File photo of former President Jacob Zuma in the dock during a brief appearance at the Durban High Court.
Image: FELIX DLANGAMANDLA

Whistleblower Patricia de Lille believes the arms deal trial involving former president Jacob Zuma has to take place so that all allegations can be finally tested.

De Lille's call comes as the high court in Pietermaritzburg will between today and Thursday hear arguments by French arms company Thales and Zuma, who are both seeking a permanent stay of prosecution on the arms deal case.

Thales is accused of conspiring with Zuma's former financial adviser, Schabir Shaik, and the former president to pay Zuma R500,000 a year in exchange for protection during an investigation linked to the arms deal.

In a statement, Thales stated that: "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."

De Lille, one of the witnesses in the arms deal case, told Sowetan yesterday it was "nobody's fault" that there were delays for the trial to kick off.

"Zuma tried so many times to have the trial postponed... with court challenges and then there was a judicial commission of inquiry so it's nobody's fault that it took so long. I certainly think it must proceed. Allegations must be tested so that the law takes its course," De Lille said.

She first raised concerns about the arms deal in 1999 when she claimed several senior ANC leaders had enriched themselves from dodgy deals with arms companies.

Former president Jacob Zuma is back in the dock yet again for corruption charges, on May 20 2019 at the Pietermaritzburg High Court.

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