Pretoria – The Presidency said on Sunday it was disturbed by another misleading story about President Jacob Zuma’s aircraft and flights in the Naspers newspaper titles.
“It has become a trend for misleading rumours and gossip to be reported by journalist Ms Erika Gibson in City Press and Rapport every Sunday, purportedly emanating from a source or sources within the South African Air Force,” said the Presidency in a statement.
It explained that the President did not refuse to fly in any aircraft as reported in the media on Sunday.
“The Presidency requested that a reliable aircraft be made available on 23 May 2016 in order to avoid another inconvenience too soon after Qatar, where the Presidential plane, Inkwazi broke down again, resulting in the need to source an alternative aircraft to enable the President to return to South Africa.
“The City Press report that the President was on his way to Durban to deal with issues relating to the change of Premiers in that province is also incorrect. The President was on his way to Durban to officiate at the launch of the new Toyota Hilux and Fortuner models on Tuesday, after which he needed to go to Cape Town to chair Cabinet the next morning,” said the Presidency.
The Defence Force, it said, has indicated that it is looking for long term solutions to the plane debacle which affects both the President and the Deputy President.
Meanwhile, President Jacob Zuma has received a preliminary briefing from the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, on the circumstances surrounding her transportation of a Burundian national to South Africa in January 2014.
In a statement also on Sunday, the Presidency said President Zuma is considering the matter.
It added that there is no further comment at this stage.