10/11/2017 05:37 SAST | Updated 10/11/2017 05:38 SAST

Dlamini-Zuma: I'm Not Corrupt And I Don't Loot

"People can accuse me of many things but not corruption. I’m not corrupt and I don’t loot. Never have, never will be," said the ANC presidential candidate.

Darrin Zammit Lupi / Reuters
Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, chairperson of the African Union Commission, attends the Valletta Summit on Migration in Valletta, Malta, November 12, 2015.

ANC presidential hopeful Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma on Thursday evening rejected public speculation that she was corrupt, saying that she never accepted any money from cigarette smugglers.

Her comments follow a Sunday Times report, which alleged that her presidential campaign received a financial contribution from self-confessed tobacco smuggler, Adriano Mazzotti.

In a series of tweets, the former African Union (AU) chairperson said she has never been involved in corruption.

"People can accuse me of many things, but not corruption. I'm not corrupt and I don't loot," Dlamini-Zuma tweeted.

Asked by Ben Pooler (@benpooler) whether she had accepted money from cigarette smugglers, Dlamini-Zuma responded with a simple "no".

Her spokesperson Vukani Mthintso told News24 that Dlamini-Zuma has no "substantive relations" with Mazzotti.

"She has never approached him for any assistance, nor has he approached her and offered assistance with her campaign," Mthintso said.

Asked how photos of Dlamini-Zuma and Mazzotti surfaced online, Mthintso said: "Thousands of people post photos taken with her and she is no position to respond as to why each individual posts such photos."

In the series of tweets, Dlamini-Zuma also said she believes that land reform should take place "legally".

"[It should] not create another crisis. It must benefit the landless majority," she said.