Johannesburg – The Presidency has challenged the contents of reports by Sunday newspaper City Press that President Jacob Zuma and Finance minister Pravin Gordhan used separate planes to China for the G20 Summit.
The newspaper reported that Zuma and his entourage arrived in Hangzhou, the capital of China’s Zhejiang province, for the G20 Summit without Gordhan.
The newspaper said Gordhan flew commercially, as usual, and quietly followed his own programme.
In a statement, spokesperson for Presidency, Dr Bongani Ngqulunga said journalist Erika Gibson gave the impression that something wrong or unfair happened, and that the President and Minister Gordhan should actually have flown together in the same aircraft.
Ngqulunga said they were disappointed at the “distortion and manipulation of the information by City Press”.
“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.
“Minister Gordhan and Minister [Maite] Nkoana-Mashabane have accompanied the President to all his meetings since their arrival in Hangzhou.
“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,” he said.