Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma

Johannesburg - African National Congress presidential hopeful and former African Union (AU) Commission, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, on Friday denied reports linking her to the controversial Gupta family.

"For the record, Dr. Dlamini Zuma has no links with any of the Gupta associated businesses except for the finances received for the South African Person of the Year Award which she received, like many other prominent South Africans," a statement sent on her behalf read.

"Dr. Dlamini Zuma wishes to reiterate her long-standing position on the matter of illicit financial flows, which she spearheaded during her term of office at the African Union Commission, which amongst others resulted in the report on illicit financial flows as tabled by [former president] Thabo Mbeki. Dr. Dlamini Zuma welcomes any efforts that will contribute to addressing any and all illicit financial flows in their entirety."

The statement said that Dlamini-Zuma was unaware and has not been officially informed of a letter written by Lord Peter Hain which alleges financial misconduct of an illicit financial flow nature.

In a letter written in September, to United Kingdom authorities, Hain claimed that London-based banks may have handled illicit funds linked to the Zuma family, President Jacob Zuma, and the Gupta family.

Hain wrote letters to UK Chancellor Philip Hammond and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, to get them to investigate alleged money laundering by the two families.

Read: Dlamini-Zuma denies financial dealings with Guptas

Hain said that South Africa was "gripped by a political, economic, and social crisis, precipitated bu a vast criminal network facilitated" by the Guptas and the Zumas.

He said the "criminal network" has lead to the state being regarded as captured with plummeting consequences on economic growth.

Hain said the majority of the illicit funds flowed through Hong Kong and the United Arab Emirates where two of the UK's largest financial institutions "have their biggest footprints".

The 27 individuals named included, Dlamini-Zuma, Zuma and his sons Duduzane, Edward, and Mxolisi; the president's nephew Kulubuse; former Eskom CEO Brian Molefe; Rajesh, Atul and Ajay Gupta; as well as other Gupta family members; Zuma family members including two of president's wives; and their business associates. 

Britain’s banking regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), had subsequently announced it was in contact with two UK banks, HSBC and Standard Chartered over possible links with the controversial Gupta family.

“The FCA is already in contact with both banks named and will consider carefully further responses received,” the regulator said.

On Thursday, media reports said the FBI was opening an investigation into United States links to the Gupta family. The Financial Times reported that US investigators are looking into individuals, bank accounts and companies in America for ties to alleged graft involving the Guptas.

The Gupta empire which spans media, mining and consulting have been linked to a numerous leaked emails alleging graft in its dealings with South Africa’s state-owned companies.

There has been no comment from Gupta spokesman, Gary Naidoo. The Guptas deny any wrongdoing and they have not been convicted of any crime.