Jacob Zuma South Africa Luxury Mansion
South Africa's President Jacob Zuma has denied allegations that he has been bought a multi-million palace in the UAE by the Gupta family Reuters

South Africa's President Jacob Zuma has denied owning a majestic $25m (£19m) "palace" in the United Arab Emirates, despite local media reports claiming the influential Gupta family had bought him a mansion in the wealthy gulf state.

The Sunday Times newspaper in South Africa reported that Zuma owned a property in Dubai's Emirates Hills, which has been billed the city's "most expensive postal code".

The palatial mansion is said to have 10 bedrooms, 13 bathrooms, nine reception rooms and garages for 11 cars.

Several independent sources told the newspaper in a series of leaked emails that the president had been bought a retirement home valued at 330 million rand ($25m) by the Gupta family, wealthy Indian businessmen who have contracts with state-owned companies in South Africa.

The newspaper cited some of the leaked emails. They did not name the sources but said they included prominent businessmen, senior officials in the ruling African National Congress (ANC) and people close to Zuma himself.

The paper also reported that Zimbabwe's leader Robert Mugabe owns a home in Emirates Hills.

Zuma's office denied all allegations and said reports of the president owning a "palace" in UAE were "fabrication".

"President Zuma does not own any property outside South Africa and has not requested anybody to buy property for him abroad," said presidential spokesperson Bongani Ngqulunga, in a statement.

The Gupta family also denied the accusations of influence-peddling and improper dealings and called the emails "fake news".

The report comes only days after Zuma sidestepped a vote of no-confidence by members of his own party. Zuma faces growing criticism within the ruling ANC after he sacked his respected finance minister, Pravin Gordhan, in a cabinet reshuffle.