President Jacob Zuma allegedly received hundreds of thousands of rand, as well as expensive gifts from the Thales Group, as part of a 1997 arms deal, according to court papers.
The Sunday Times reported that the new High Court filing – containing an affidavit from Ajay Sooklal, a lawyer in Pretoria – has been submitted.
Sooklal claims he was a confidant of Zuma, and Zuma asked him not to say anything to the Seriti commission about the gifts from Thales.
Thales is a French company which was awarded a R2.6-billion contract in 1997 for the combat suites of four navy frigates. This was part of a R60-billion arms deal.
In his affidavit, Sooklal names Pierre Moynot, the former head of Thales’ local subsidiary Thint, as Zuma’s patron.
The Sunday Times reported that in a 2014 interview, Moynot said Sooklal was a liar.
However, he confirmed that Thales bought clothes for Zuma when his luggage was lost during a trip to watch World Cup Rugby matches in Paris.
Thales also paid for the trip, and Zuma’s legal fees, states the report.
Moynot also paid for Zuma’s accommodation in the Sheraton Hotel Brussels and handed him €25,000 in cash, said Sooklal.