The presidency has lashed out at City Press newspaper for what it claims is “shocking manipulation of information and distortion” of facts.
This relates to an article published about President Jacob Zuma and Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan’s travel itinerary to the G20 Summit in China, titled “Separate planes to China Tale of two airplanes ‘distorts facts’ for Zuma and Pravin”. The presidency said the article, published on Sunday, appeared to intend to create the impression Gordhan had been “treated badly”.
In the piece, the reporter, who the presidency claimed “normally reports on rumours and gossip”, also “laments” that the president flew on a chartered aircraft while Gordhan travelled on a commercial flight.
The presidency said it gave the impression this was “wrong or unfair” and that Zuma and the finance minister, who is embroiled in a Hawks investigation, should have been on the same aircraft. However, the presidency noted that it was not mentioned that other ministers had travelled on commercial flights on their own to China.
According to the presidency, City Press and News24 had not contacted them for comment. City Press had not responded to a request for comment by the time of going to print.