South Africa’s former President Jacob Zuma has defended himself against charges of corruption he is facing saying he “has never committed a crime”.

Mr Zuma made the comments during a prayer event organised by an interfaith group at his private home on Thursday in Nkandla village in KwaZulu-Natal province.

He said that he was not afraid of being convicted of corruption‚ saying that judges sometimes convict people wrongly, TimesLive reports.

Mr Zuma is set to appear in court next week after corruption‚ fraud‚ and racketeering charges were reinstated against him earlier in the year.

The charges are related to corruption linked to a 1990s arms deal.

But Mr Zuma said the cases stemmed from jealousy over his private home, Nkandla.

“They were upset because they could not believe I could build such a house in Nkandla, a village. So they decided that I stole the money but I did not steal it. They investigated and found nothing, ” he said.

The public protector, an anti-corruption body, ruled in 2014 that $23m (£15m) of public money had been improperly spent on Mr Zuma’s rural home and ordered him to reimburse part of the expense which he did.

He told the gathering on Thursday his only crime was “fighting for freedom during apartheid and they arrested me”.

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