Publication: Business Day
Reporter: Ernest Mabuza
Thint Appeal May Delay Zuma Trial
a move that is likely to further delay the resumption of Jacob Zuma’s corruption
trial, French arms dealer Thint says it will appeal against a Pretoria High
Court ruling today dismissing its application to declare unlawful a search
warrant issued last year to search its business premises.
was part of the 20 search-and-seizure warrants applied for by the Scorpions and
granted by Transvaal Judge President Bernard Ngoepe in August last year.
They formed part of the Scorpions’ investigation into allegations of
corruption and fraud related to the country’s arms deal.
charged along with Zuma last year following the conviction of Zuma’s former
financial adviser, Schabir Shaik, on corruption and fraud charges.
is accused of offering Zuma a R500 000-a-year bribe in exchange for his
protection during a probe into the multibillion-rand arms deal.
Yesterday’s judgment was the first to go in the Scorpions’ favour, but
Thint attorney Ajay Sooklal said the company would appeal.
likely to add to the delay in the resumption of Zuma’s corruption trial in
Durban later this month. The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has also
indicated to Thint’s and Zuma’s lawyers that it intends to apply for a further
postponement on July 31.
Already there are two pending appeals by the NPA
against rulings earlier this year declaring the Scorpions’ raid on the premises
of Zuma and two of his lawyers unlawful. Shaik’s appeal will be heard in the
Supreme Court of Appeal next month.
The Pretoria High Court yesterday
ordered that the Scorpions lodge with the court for safekeeping all copies of
the plan of Thint director Pierre Moynot’s home with the registrar of the
Judge Ben du Plessis said the Scorpions had conceded that the
warrant issued in respect of the Moynot home was invalid and that the Scorpions
had arranged for the return of the items seized from the home.
In the two
cases heard by the Johannesburg and Durban high courts, the judges set the
warrants aside, among other reasons, on the grounds that they should have
contained explicit references alerting the attorneys to their right to claim
However, Du Plessis said there was no indication that
Scorpions’ investigator Johan du Plooy who applied for the warrant to search
Thint, acted in bad faith by not disclosing to Ngoepe that Thint was legally
represented. Du Plessis said Thint’s legal representatives were at all times
aware of the right to claim privilege, and they did so.
dismissed Thint’s argument that the failure to state the time when the offences
were allegedly committed was fatal.
“The investigations have progressed
far and accused persons and entities have already been convicted. Yet it appears
that… the investigators are still investigating whether corrupt payments are
still being made.
“Not only has (Thint) been aware of the nature of the
investigations since at the latest 2001, it has with the aid of legal assistance
been keeping abreast of developments.”
The judge also dismissed Thint’s submission that the terms of the warrant
granted was over broad in that it authorised the search and
seizure of just about anything *1.
With acknowledgements to Ernest Mabuza and Business Day.
*1 Tis a case of the lady doth
protest overly much.
An article that might well have been written by Karen Blixem
- "Why did the Scorpions rummage through the underwear of Bijou Francoise
Moynot, wife of Pierre Jean Marie Robert Moynot, the managing director of Thint
(Pty) Limited, the local arm of the giant French arms and electronics
- This is precisely the question that Madame Moynot, as well as her husband
and Thint the company, have asked in an application filed in the Pretoria High
Court on Thursday against the national director of public prosecutions; the
investigating director: Directorate of Special Operations (the Scorpions); and
Johan du Plooy, a senior special investigator of the Scorpions.
- "In her affidavit describing the Scorpions raid, Mrs Moynot told the court
that "a female officer even went through my underwear
and commented on the high quality of the bras that
were in my drawer and the number of shoes I had in my
- 'Needless to say, I felt extremely
humiliated, more especially since there were male persons in my room when it was being searched and when my
underwear was being commented upon.'"
- Title : Scorpions Quizzed on
- Publication : The Star
- Date : 2006-01-13
- Reporter : Jeremy Gordin
- Web Links : www.thestar.co.za, http://www.armsdeal-vpo.co.za/articles09/underwear_probe.html