State says it has 217 witnesses ready to testify in Zuma-Thales corruption case

state says it has 217 witnesses ready to testify in zuma thales corruption case

DURBAN – The State said it had lined up 217 witnesses in the case involving former President Jacob Zuma and French arms company Thales.

Zuma and Thales face corruption, money laundering and racketeering charges linked to the multibillion-rand arms deal.

Zuma is facing 16 charges of fraud, graft and racketeering relating to a R30 billion purchase in 1999 of fighter jets, patrol boats and military equipment from five European arms companies.

He allegedly took bribes amounting to R4 million from one of the firms, French defence giant Thales at the time when he was deputy president.

Judge Nkosinathi Chili at the High Court in Pietermaritzburg on Tuesday said the matter was certified as trial-ready.

READ: Zuma, Thales corruption trial to start on 17 May

Many years in the making, the Pietermaritzburg High Court has granted Zuma his wish of finally having his day in court and responding to allegations against him.

After years of legal wrangling, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) together with defence teams representing Zuma and arms company Thales have agreed to commence with a trial on 17 May.

The testimony of more than 200 witnesses is expected to be heard until 20 June in what is expected to be the biggest post-apartheid corruption trial in the country…

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