The long-delayed trial of former president Jacob Zuma and his co-accused, French arms company Thales, on charges of fraud, corruption, money laundering, and racketeering linked to the multibillion-rand 1999 arms deal has been postponed until 8 December.
The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said all parties have by agreement “committed to the postponement of the matter for the resolution of pre-trial management issues”.
These include the application Thales brought to review the racketeering charge against it, as well as the company’s application for further particulars from the State.
The legal representatives also want further clarity on “the resumption of international travel under the Covid-19 restrictions which affects witnesses and Thales’ representative, from abroad”, the NPA said.
Thales allegedly offered Zuma an R500 000-a-year bribe in exchange for political protection when he was deputy president.
However, the previous time the trial was postponed, the Jacob G Zuma Foundation slammed the NPA for “its unreadiness to proceed” with its trial against Zuma.
The foundation said: “For too long, the NPA together with the media accused president Zuma of applying delaying tactics. Yet, it is the NPA that is not ready to proceed when president Zuma calls upon it to present its case against him.
“The silence of the media in this regard is deafening.
“Not once is the NPA accused of the so-called ‘Stalingrad’ when, after almost two decades of media fanfare that the NPA was ready, it is clear that the NPA is the one not ready.”
The foundation expressed its disappointment “with the manner in which the NPA seems to have its way with our courts” which, it said, “seem impotent to reign in the NPA”.
“This is so because there seems to be a different jurispendence applied by our courts when it comes to president Zuma.
“Ordinarily, our courts should remove the matter from the roll until the NPA and Thales have finalised their dispute,” the statement read.
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