The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has criticised applications for a permanent stay of prosecution bought by former president Jacob Zuma and his corruption co-accused, French arms company Thales, as nothing more than a bid “to avoid at all cost having to answer to the criminal charges against them”. In heads of argument filed at the Pietermaritzburg High Court, the NPA also hits out at Zuma, who is at risk of about a quarter of a century behind bars for alleged corruption, for making “emotive and at times insulting accusations based on conspiracy theories without any foundation in fact” in his court bid.  The NPA says Zuma’s Stalingrad defence — a term used by his former advocate Kemp J Kemp to describe how the former president intended to fight his prosecution “in every room, in every street, in every house” — had “cost the state between R16.7m and R32m”. “It has so far been successful in that it has allowed Mr Zuma to escape prosecution for almost 15 years,” the state arg...

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