Presidency denies Motlanthe report

2013-11-17 19:17
Kgalema Motlanthe. (Picture: AFP)

Kgalema Motlanthe. (Picture: AFP)

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Johannesburg - The presidency denied a report on Sunday that President Jacob Zuma had a hand in the withdrawal of an academic honour for Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe.

"The reports are baseless and ridiculous," presidential spokesperson Mac Maharaj said in a statement.

"Neither the president nor his private office had any knowledge of this honour that was apparently turned down until enquiries came from Media24 or Naspers newspapers."

On Friday, Beeld reported that Motlanthe was on his way to China to receive an academic honour when it was unexpectedly withdrawn and that fingers had been pointed at Zuma.

The newspaper reported that, according to three sources, Motlanthe was "furious" officials at the South African embassy in Beijing told him the international relations department had instructed that his invitation from the University of International Business and Economics be turned down.

His spokesperson Thabo Masebe reportedly confirmed to the newspaper that Motlanthe was told only days before he was meant to leave.

According to Beeld, it was told by source at the Union Buildings that there was no direct evidence Zuma was involved, but merely a strong suspicion in government circles.

Maharaj said Zuma and Motlanthe continued to work well together and shared responsibilities.

"It would thus assist greatly if the media probed deeper before believing and publishing spurious allegations of this nature so as not to peddle falsehoods," he said.

Read more on:    anc  |  jacob zuma  |  mac maharaj  |  kgalema motlanthe

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