Business Partnerships- Revisited!


Western Cape, Apr 7, 2019 ( – At the first glance, Thales stands as one impressive company. It provides a wide range of products in the arenas of aerospace, space, ground transportation, defense, security and AI. Thales is one quarter owned by the French government, directly, and another quarter owned by the French government indirectly -through Dassault Aviation. With thousands of employees in over fifty countries and the French government being its main shareholder, Thales could face just about anything. 

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When examining the charges brought against Thales since 2000, one cannot but notice the trend. It is no secret, with building an empire in mind, some voices have to be silenced. Before long, the suppressed find their way to voice their agony and unravel the mysteries knotted behind closed doors. 

A former senior Thales executive named Michel Josserand had to leave Thales due to conflict with superiors. He was later charged with corruption for actions he took when he was still at Thales and was sentenced to 18 months of imprisonment. Josserand then revealed corrupt practices carried out by Thales where he was “just used as a scapegoat”. 

He exposed that Thales “has reportedly maintained a fund to bribe government officials to corner contracts”. According to him, the fund, worth billions, had a share go to the Greek Government to secure a contract for security equipment to be used in the 2004 Olympics in Athens. The share was 10% of the contract price. Once sacrificed to atone for the sins committed by the entity, Thales denied the allegations vehemently.  

Most recently, the South African government indicted both Thales and Zuma for the crimes of corruption, money laundering, fraud and racketeering. Back in 1997, Thales was awarded a contract to install the Combat Management System (CMS), Air and Surface Search Radar and Hull Sonar on the Valour class Frigates of the South African Navy (SAN). Thales paid bribes to land the contract. However, one of the suppressed voices drove attention to the discrepancies a few years later.

To destroy all traces, Thales got further involved and paid more bribes to government officials; mainly, Jacob Zuma. JZ served as the Deputy President of South Africa from 1999 to 2005, and then the President from 2007 to 2018. The controversial payments arrived at regular amounts paid on an annual basis.

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Retrieved by investigators, one of the key evidence was encrypted fax making an offer to JZ. Bribes took the forms of campaign contributions, expensive gifts, legal fees and trips-abroad, to mention a few. Although the right to a fair trial is protected under the constitution, Thales way out this time is looking down its nose at the legal system, stating “it does not believe it will receive a fair trial in South Africa.”

South Africa remains true to its commitment to uproot corruption. This brings one to a question, are companies as big as Thales equally committed? When Patrice Caine became the Chairman of Thales in 2014, the company heaved a sigh of relief. Youngblood was infused to ensure Thales remained a viable company in today’s market. Then again, Thales seems to continue to make the exact same mistakes.

Just like TfGM took Thales to a high court in 2013 on grounds of its “fundamental failure to meet its contractual requirements”, Thales is taken to court today by its very business advisors on the exact same grounds. Just like information was disclosed in more than one occasion, interesting details are being leaked. And just like before, instead of placing its tracks under wraps, Thales seems to put them right under the spotlight.

The question here is not of insiders’ resentment voiced to bring an empire to its demise. It is not of the fatal flaw of arrogance, thinking it covers its tracks while in fact, it exposes them further, nor is it of scapegoats sacrificed on the go. The question here is of whether Thales is a trusted partner in the long term, especially when governments are involved. Not only governments targeted by the Thales programs, but also the one represented by Thales. Whether acknowledged or not, Thales actions reflect on the French government.

Media Contact

Aviation Global

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Source :Thales

This article was originally published by IssueWire. Read the original article here.

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