Judgment expected in Thales’ challenge against racketeering and money laundering charges

Reading Time: 2 minutes

The High Court in Pietermaritzburg is today expected to hand down judgment in the application of French arms company Thales, challenging racketeering and money laundering charges against it.

Thales and former President Jacob Zuma are facing corruption charges in connection with the multi-billion-rand arms deal in 1999.

Thales says in its application that the head of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) was mistaken in authorising a racketeering charge. Thales argues that the head of prosecution did not have evidence of its involvement in the alleged corrupt relationship between Zuma and his former financial advisor Schabir Shaik.

Advocate Barry Roux told the court earlier on behalf of Thales, that the State cannot substantiate the allegations that the French company knowingly participated in alleged corruption and bribes involving Zuma and Shaik from 1995 to 2005.

However, the State said that at the time the crime was allegedly committed, Shaik was a Board member of Thint Holding, a subsidiary of Thales.

State advocate Wim Trengove said when investigations into the arms deal scandal started, Thales sought Zuma’s protection through Shaik.

According to Trengove, this shows that the company already knew that the former President was on Shaik’s payroll.

In the video below judgment was reserved in the Thales matter last year: