The attempt by French arms company Thales to have corruption charges against it dropped has failed, an early indication that former president Jacob Zuma may face difficulties in his own bid. Thales is Zuma’s co-accused in the corruption case linked to the multibillion-rand arms deal. The company is accused of conspiring with Zuma’s former financial adviser Schabir Shaik, his Nkobi Group and the former president to pay Zuma R500,000 a year as a bribe in exchange for protection during an investigation linked to the arms deal. Thales had made submissions to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), requesting that the decision to charge it be reviewed. Business Day understands that this request was turned down. Thales is now likely to approach the court for a permanent stay of prosecution. The NPA would not comment on the matter, which is expected to be ventilated in court on Friday when Zuma and Thales appear in the High Court in Pietermaritzburg. Thales did not respond to requests fo...

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