South African President Jacob Zuma said on Wednesday an anti-corruption watchdog had no right to call for a judicial inquiry into alleged influence-peddling in his government, describing its report as unfair.
The report by the Public Protector watchdog, released on Nov. 2, focused on allegations that businessman brothers Ajay, Atul and Rajesh Gupta had influenced the appointment of ministers.
While stopping short of conclusive findings, it has increased pressure on Zuma by calling for an investigation into whether he, some cabinet members and some state companies acted improperly.
Wounded by the latest in a series of scandals, Zuma, who denies wrongdoing, hit back in a speech to parliament.
"This report has been dealt with in a very funny way. It affected me and many (others),” he said. “No fairness at all."
The affair has rattled financial markets in Africa's most industrialized economy, which risks credit rating downgrades later this year, and spurred efforts by the opposition to unseat the president.