The fraud, corruption and racketeering case against former President Jacob Zuma and French arms company, Thales, has been postponed to July 19 at the Pietermaritzburg High Court.
They have been charged in connection with the 1999 multi-billion rand arms deal.
Addressing the court earlier, counsel for Thales- Samantha Jackson- provided a brief and broad explanation of the basis of her client’s defense.
She said: “The alleged specific corruption as a racketing act, it is also alleged that the second accused corruptly entered into an agreement with (Shabir) Shaik and or the alleged enterprise the first accused to pay a bribe to the first accused. It is denied that the second accused entered into the alleged agreement. The alleged money laundering as a racketeering act. It is alleged that the second accused entered into the alleged agreement with a money laundering enterprise to disguise the payment of R250 000 to the first accused in terms of the first bribe agreement. It is denied that the 2nd accused entered into the alleged money laundering agreement. Count 3 and the alternative counts thereto is the so-called general corruption count and duplicates the alleged corrupt acts relied upon in the racketeering count.”
Meanwhile, Judge Piet Koen has asked Zuma’s defence to remain within the permissible limits of what is allowed to be presented in court before the special plea is officially heard on July 19.
Koen was responding to a request from Zuma’s Advocates Thabani Masuku and Dali Mpofu for the lengthy delivery of a statement that elaborates on the contents of Zuma’s special plea
Koen cautioned the defense against repeating the allegations in the affidavit.
“The most important thing in that he’s complaining about the unfair trial rights, is that there was political intelligence interference because he is a political leader, he has a significant constituency of people who must understand why he is here. I was simply expressing my understanding of what has been conveyed in the papers, these things happen in language. The purpose at the moment is for you to disclose the bases of the defence, that the legal bases I can appreciate, that it is tied up with some political consideration. This is not the opportunity for an accused person to state his version, it is not evidence.”
Trial proceedings below: