South Africa’s former President Jacob Zuma has defended himself against charges of corruption he is facing saying he “has never committed a crime” and “he is not corrupt”.
Speaking in his hometown of Nkandla during his welcome home prayer session, which was organised by the National Interfaith Council of South Africa in partnership with the Commission for Religious Affairs, Zuma told the crowd that the only crime he committed was to fight against the apartheid regime.
“So it happens that a conviction may not be correct. So I’m not afraid if they say I have a case [to answer to] because I’ve not committed a crime. The only crime I committed was to fight for freedom‚” he said.
Zuma is set to appear in court next week after corruption‚ fraud‚ and racketeering charges were reinstated against him earlier in the year.
Addressing the crowd‚ Zuma said he was also being accused of corruption for building a luxury home in Nkandla.
Zuma said he had grown up under Christian and traditional teachings‚ which had taught him respect – and that stealing was not right.
“I’ve never committed any crime. There’s no criminal in my family. A criminal has never been born in my family. We are believers and we pray when we’ve committed any sins,” he said.
“No matter what people may say about my name‚ and if they say‚ ‘Zuma you have done something wrong’‚ I hear nothing. I’m not corrupt‚” he added.