November 7, 2016 / 1:47 PM / 3 years ago

South Africa's Zuma lodges complaint with anti-graft watchdog over leaked audio recording

South African President Jacob Zuma listens at a press conference with President Robert Mugabe in Harare, Zimbabwe, November 3,2016. REUTERS/Philimon Bulawayo

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South African President Jacob Zuma has lodged a complaint with the office of the Public Protector over a leaked audio recording of his meeting with the anti-graft watchdog, his office said on Monday.

Zuma’s discussion with the former Public Protector, Thuli Madonsela, during her investigation into allegations of influence-peddling was broadcast on a private television channel at the weekend.

“The Presidency has sought clarity from the Office of the Public Protector on the policy of the institution regarding the release of audio recordings of interviews conducted during the course of investigation,” Zuma’s office said in a statement.

A transcript of the four-hour interview was made public by the Protector’s office last week when it released a report calling for a judge to investigate allegations of influence peddling in Zuma’s government.

Zuma is due to face a no-confidence vote in parliament later this week over the 355-page report by the constitutionally mandated watchdog.

It focused on allegations that members of the Gupta family of business tycoons influenced the appointment of ministers, and called for an investigation into whether Zuma, some of his cabinet members and some state companies had acted improperly. It stopped short of saying crimes had been committed, saying it lacked the resources to reach such conclusions.

Zuma denies granting undue influence to the brothers, who run a business empire ranging from media to mining, or to anyone else. Through their family spokesman, the Guptas have denied seeking influence.

Reporting by Tiisetso Motsoeneng; Editing by Kevin Liffey

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