Publication: Pretoria News Issued: Date: 2007-09-20 Reporter: Sapa

Zuma, Thint Back in Court Over Diary



Pretoria News





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The case of Jacob Zuma and French arms manufacturer Thint will be back in the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein tomorrow.

They will appeal a high court decision on documents in Mauritius, which South African prosecutors are seeking in an investigation against them.

The appeal is against a letter of request asking Mauritian authorities to release the originals of some 14 documents that are in their possession after a search and seizure operation by the authorities in that country.

The information contained in the documents is relevant to charges being investigated against Zuma and Thint and that may be brought against them, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said in court papers. The State seeks to secure these documents in advance of any possible trial as part of its continuing investigation.

The documents allegedly include the 2000 diary of Alain Thetard, the former chief executive of Thales International's South African subsidiary Thint (Pty) Ltd.

The diary reportedly details a meeting in March 2000 between Thetard, Zuma and convict Schabir Shaik, former financial adviser to Zuma.

The NPA alleges that an agreement on a R500 000-a-year bribe for Zuma was reached at that meeting, related to South Africa's controversial multi-billion rand arms deal.

In September 2006, Pietermaritzburg high court judge Herbert Msimang struck the case pending against Zuma and Thint off the roll after the State had sought a postponement.

The postponement sought was pending the outcome of Shaik's appeal at that stage against his fraud and corruption conviction.

It was also a challenge to the search and seizure raids the State had carried out on Zuma, his attorneys and Thint.

The SCA heard the appeals to the search and seizures three weeks ago.

Earlier this month, Zuma lost a round in his legal battle with the NPA when the Pretoria high court held that he may not intervene in an application by the State into dealings in the United Kingdom.

The NPA obtained an order enabling it to extend its investigations of Zuma to the UK.

It is not known if Zuma will attend the Bloemfontein hearing tomorrow.

With acknowledgements to Sapa and Pretoria News.