Analyst explains link between Jacob Zuma and French arms company Thales

French Arms company Thales made its argument for a permanent stay of prosecution application at the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Pietermaritzburg on Tuesday.

It argued that it was irrational that the company had been named as the co-accused along with former president Jacob Zuma, even though Zuma is accused of taking bribes from French arms maker in exchange for political influence.

Read: 'Even Jacob Zuma has said he can't remember the events for which he is charged'

702 Bongani Bingwa speaks to arms deal critic and activist Paul Holden about the links between Zuma and Thales.

Holden says the Seriti Commission tasked with uncovering what went wrong with the arms deal failed in its mandate.

It had huge resources at its disposal, extensive powers of compulsion and the law and yet the commission turned a blind eye to a huge amount of evidence which it refused to look at.

Paul Holden, Arms deal critic and activist

When it became known that there was corruption surrounding the arms deal, an agreementwas reached where Thales would pay Zuma R500 000 a year to effectively shield it from investigations flowing from the Scorpions at the time, says Holden.

The agreement was designed so that Zuma would use whatever means in his disposal to protect the company from any future investigations, but also the agreement stipulated that Zuma would assist in any way that he could with the company's business in South Africa going forward.

Paul Holden, Arms deal critic and activist

It was an agreement that effectively aided and abetted a cover-up and misused his political influence to do so, and use his political power to ensure that the company remained profitable going forward.

Paul Holden, Arms deal critic and activist

Thales lawyers also argued that many involved in this case no longer work with the company.

The case has been one of the most significant political trials in South Africa for the last two decades, and the company must have known that it would reach a point where it must defend itself to a certain degree.

Paul Holden, Arms deal critic and activist

I find it hard to believe that if the company had evidence that cleared it, it would somehow not hold on to that evidence throughout the life of this investigation. The argument that says there is no one there who knows the deal feels very disingenuous to me.

Paul Holden, Arms deal critic and activist

Listen below as Holden explains the links between Zuma and Thales:


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