Allies of Presidential hopeful Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma have labelled reports that she is linked to alleged financial misconduct by the Gupta family as attempts to derail her career, News24 reported.
UK regulators are investigating allegations that London banks may have been used by the Guptas to launder funds. Labour MP and anti-apartheid activist Lord Peter Hain requested UK authorities to investigate the Gupta allegations, and said financial institutions should investigate the Gupta and Zuma families and businesses. Dlamini-Zuma was on the list of family members that should be investigated, alongside Zuma's current wives, The Sowetan reported.
Dlamini-Zuma denied links to the Gupta family or their businesses, saying the only link she had to the family was when their television station, ANN7, awarded her the South African of The Year award, according to News24.
"Dr Dlamini Zuma wishes to reiterate her long-standing position on the matter of illicit financial flows, which she spearheaded during her term of office at the African Union Commission, which, among others, resulted in the report on illicit financial flows as tabled by... [former president] Thabo Mbeki," her campaign team reportedly said in a statement.
On the sidelines of a campaign rally on Sunday, she reportedly told News24 that the UK authorities had not approached her. "They have not asked me anything, so I don't know what they want."
Her campaign backers, Kebby Maphatsoe, ANC Youth League leader Collen Maine and Free State premier Ace Magashule, all condemned the reports that she was somehow linked to the Gupta family.
Maphatsoe reportedly said on Sunday that the UK investigators were "interfering in internal affairs of the ANC to determine who is the next president of the ANC, because they don't like Dlamini-Zuma talking about radical economic transformation."
Magashule reportedly said South Africans could see that this was an attempt to block her ascension to the presidency of the party.
"Why, now that Nkosazana is contesting the leadership of ANC. I don't think we will be fooled.
"At all times, people have been blamed, attacked and tarnished. I think it is [important] for NDZ to stay focused," he reportedly said.
At the rally, Maine said it was clear Dlamini-Zuma's campaign did not have international backing.
"They have an interest in South Africa, they want to tell us who must lead us... we must refuse. Let's accept that we will be placed under further junk status, but we will rise, we will defeat their agenda again," he said.