SAfrica leader says troops sent to C. African Republic to promote peace, denies other motive

President Jacob Zuma says he sent South African troops to Central African Republic to promote peace on the continent and denies allegations they were deployed to protect business interests of his African National Congress.

Zuma on Tuesday told a memorial service for 13 South African troops killed in a battle against the rebels who ousted Central African Republic's president that the soldiers died defending South Africa's commitment to the renewal of the African continent.

Critics have asked why the soldiers died defending a despotic coup leader and suggested the real aim of the mission was to protect the interests of a company connected to the ANC.

Zuma reiterated that troops were sent to train the CAR army, and 200 troops sent in January had a mission to protect the trainers.