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JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africa's elite police unit, the Hawks, has opened an inquiry into thousands of leaked emails involving alleged improper dealings in awarding government contracts, the unit's spokesman said on Monday.

"An inquiry has been opened ... obviously, we will look at the authenticity of these emails, how were they leaked, but this is something that we've just started," the spokesman said.

Some South African media reported last week they had access to more than 100,000 leaked documents and emails that showed improper dealings in government contracts by business friends of president Jacob Zuma.

Zuma has denied wrongdoing.

(Reporting by TJ Strydom, editing by Larry King)

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