French arms company Thales, which stands accused of bribing Jacob Zuma, contends it is an “unfortunate, unfair casualty” of the case by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) against the former president and insists the state’s decision to charge it with racketeering is “an abuse of the process of court”.

The high court in Pietermaritzburg will hear Thales’s bid to invalidate the racketeering charge against it — which has resulted in Zuma’s long-awaited trial being put on hold — on October 26. While the outcome of that case will almost certainly be the subject of appeals, its resolution will be pivotal to deciding not only when the Zuma/Thales case gets under way, but also what form that prosecution will ultimately take.

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