ANC denies latest arms deal claims against Zuma

The party has denied reports Zuma received bribes for political protection in the arms deal probe.

President Jacob Zuma. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG - The African National Congress (ANC) has denied that the party or President Jacob Zuma ever received bribes from French arms giant Thales in return for political protection in the arms deal probe.

The _Sunday Times _is reporting that the president was allegedly bribed with fancy clothes, legal fees and lavish accommodation while he was facing corruption charges relating to the arms deal.

In 1997, Thales's South African subsidiary, Thint, was awarded a R2.6 million contract in order to fit four new navy frigates with combat suites.

It's also alleged Thales gave former ANC treasurer Mendi Msimang R14 million in 2006 to be paid into an ANC aligned trust before the company was expected to appear in court for Zuma's corruption charges.

The party's Zizi Kodwa has dismissed the allegations, calling them 'rumour-mongering'.

"We wonder why the Sunday Times chose to run public lies about the president. Clearly this is hot air. We think this is an old story, there's nothing newsworthy about it. This is just a decoy."

In 2009, the National Prosecuting Authority dropped corruption charges against Zuma in relation to the arms deal, citing a political conspiracy against him.