ANC - Zuma criticism defamatory

The ANC's Jackson Mthembu said it's wrong to constantly claim Zuma is corrupt.

FILE: ANC spokesman Jackson Mthembu during a news conference in Johannesburg on Monday, 25 June 2012 ahead of the party's policy conference this week. About 3500 delegates were expected to attend the conference in Midrand. Picture: Werner Beukes/SAPA

JOHANNESBURG - The ANC has warned it's dangerous to claim people in the party are afraid of President Jacob Zuma and it's defamatory to say he's corrupt.

The party has released a statement supporting Zuma but claims it's not a direct response to businessman Kenny Kunene's open letter to the president that was published on Friday morning.

Kunene claims the president is a tyrant and a monster.

The ANC's Jackson Mthembu says it's wrong to constantly claim Zuma is corrupt.

"We believe this is defaming and insulting the president. This shows disrespect to him because there's no proof to these allegations."

He adds there are countries where it's illegal to insult the head of state.

"Whatever your views are of a certain president please respect the positions they hold."

Read Kenny Kunene's letter here.