Former president Jacob Zuma’s insistence that he wants to go on trial for corruption as soon as possible is almost certain to cause his lawyers to argue that his trial should be split from that of Thales, the French arms company accused of bribing him.

That is because Thales intends to review the decision by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to charge it with racketeering linked to its alleged R500,000-a-year bribe to Zuma, which the state contends was paid in exchange for Zuma’s “political protection” from any potential investigation into the government’s multibillion-rand arms deal...

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