Zuma corruption case: Thales won't get fair trial, says defence

The case against former president Jacob Zuma is about 14 years old now, And so much has happened in that time -- repeated delays, stories of political interference, and the dropping and reinstatement of charges.

JOHANNESBURG - A "hell-bent, knee-jerk, status quo" decision.

That's how one lawyer for French arms company Thales has described the decision by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to reinstate corruption charges against the firm.

Thales and former president Jacob Zuma are both asking the KwaZulu-Natal High Court for a permanent stay of prosecution.                    

WATCH: Zuma court battle continues

The French arms company is insisting it won't get a fair trial. Its argument centres around the delays in the case.                                

The company is accused of agreeing to pay Zuma an annual R500,000 bribe for protection from an investigation into the controversial multibillion-rand arms deal.                                                   

Zuma's former financial advisor Schabir Shaik is said to have facilitated the alleged bribe. 

READ: Zuma’s supporters vow to stand behind him

"There is no one at Thales who was involved in the matters, and the institutional knowledge is gone.

"The NPA says we have documents, but what does that help if no one is available to explain those documents?" argued Advocate Mushahida Adhikari, Thales lawyer.                                     

On Thursday, the NPA will continue responding to Zuma and Thales's application for a permanent stay of prosecution.

The NPA is expected to argue there are reasonable prospects of a successful conviction in the case.