JOHANNESBURG - Further details of meetings between presidential hopeful Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and her alleged campaign backers have surfaced.
The Sunday Times has published pictures of at least two meetings between Dlamini-Zuma, self-confessed tobacco smuggler Adriano Mazzotti and his business associates.
The report claims Mazzotti and Supabet owners Philip and Photios Anastassopoulos flew Dlamini-Zuma to the UK and Greece earlier this year to raise funds for her presidential campaign.
The allegations first surfaced in the new book The President's Keepers.
Mazzotti last week denied having any political affiliations, saying he'd only met Dlamini-Zuma once.
Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma on Sunday responded to the reports.
In an email reply, she said she met Adriano Mazzotti by chance in London on one occasion.
“Dlamini-Zuma attends, as a public figure, thousands of events and people take photos with her. She does not have relations with everyone that she takes photos with,” her spokesman, Vukani Mthintso said.
Her office also denied having any relations with Supabets Owners Philip and Photios Anastassopoulos.
The former African Union chair further denied that Mazzotti was funding her presidential bid, saying:
“The campaign is coordinated by the ANC Women's League with the support of the ANC Youth League, the uMkhonto We Sizwe Military Veterans Association and the structures of the ANC.”
“Dlamini-Zuma has no knowledge of the person in question contributing in any way to her campaign,” Mthintso added.
She further denied visiting Greece and the United Kingdom with the men.
“Dr. Dlamini Zuma has not been to Greece for at least the last 7-10 years. No, she did not go with Mr Mazzotti to the UK,” the statement read.
Dlamini Zuma's spokesperson says there's a deliberate smear campaign, aimed at connecting Dlamini-Zuma to controversial business people, including the Gupta family