Pretoria – President Jacob Zuma does not have to travel with Ministers in the same aircraft, the Presidency said on Sunday.
The high office was challenging the contents of reports by City Press that President Zuma and Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan used separate planes to China for the G20 Summit.
The newspaper reported that President Zuma and his entourage arrived in Hangzhou, the capital of China’s Zhejiang province, for the G20 Summit without Minister Gordhan.
The newspaper said the Minister flew commercially and quietly followed his own programme.
The Presidency said the newspaper report gives an impression that something wrong or unfair happened, and that the President and Minister Gordhan should actually have flown together in the same aircraft.
“For the record, it should be noted that the President does not have to travel with Ministers in the same aircraft. There is no such requirement,” the Presidency said and added that it was disappointed at the distortion and manipulation of information.
“The story appears to be intended to create an impression that Minister Gordhan has been treated badly. No mention is made of the other Ministers and the Deputy Minister, who also travelled commercially on their own to China.”
South Africa’s delegation to the G20 summit includes Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane.
On the second leg of the visit in Guangdong where he will attend the 2nd Investing in Africa Summit on 7 September, the President will be supported by the Minister of Trade and Industry Rob Davies and the Deputy Minister of Transport Sindi Chikunga.