African National Congress (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 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 in 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.
Twitter users, however, replied to Dlamini-Zuma that she was compromised by the people she surrounds herself with.
@Pheli7812 tweeted ": As long as you are friends with your ex-husband's crooked friends, we can't trust you. You'll owe them and have to defend them the same way he does."
Koketso Rantlhwatlhw (@KRantlhwatlhw) said Dlamini-Zuma will eventually be corrupted.
"The only reason they are pushing you to become the ANC leader is merely to loot, nothing else," Rantlhwatlhw said.