The presidency has reacted to City Press’ “manipulating and distorting” report on President Zuma’s decision to fly a foreign plane to China for the G20 Summit.
On Sunday, Zuma attended the G20 summit in a China-friendly luxurious Gulfstream-G550 that belongs to Bestfly, Angola; while Gordhan went in a commercial flight.
The daily newspaper also reported that Zuma and his entourage arrived in Hangzhou, the capital of China’s Zhejiang province, for the G20 Summit without Gordhan.
Addressing the issue squarely, Spokesperson for the presidency, Dr Bongani Ngqulunga slammed the newspaper for distorting the information and painting a war-like picture that suggested Zuma treated Gordhan badly by allowing him board a commercial flight.
A statement released by the presidency reads: “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 traveled 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.”
BuzzSouthAfrica gathered that Zuma’s jet Inkwazi, was abandoned for the Bestfly’s Gulfstream-G550 at Air Force Base Waterkloof because of claims that it is “unreliable” – although, the jet is 100% serviceable.
Controversies surrounding the acquisition and maintenance of Zuma’s Inkwazi often make headlines each time the president is set to fly outside the shores of the country.
On several occasions, he has been reportedly trapped in foreign places due to alleged technical difficulties. However, going by what the defence quarters disclosed sometime ago, the new presidential aircraft will soon be acquired for Zuma, in order to at least, save the country from the shame and embarrassment of a faulty Inkwazi during international meetings.