The Presidency has rubbished a report by a Sunday newspaper that President Jacob Zuma refused to fly in his jet fearing sabotage, labelling it misleading.
The presidency said yesterday it was “disturbed by yet another misleading story in Naspers titles” about Zuma’s presidential aircraft, Inkwazi.
The City Press reported that a rented aircraft was obtained in a hurry to take the president to Durban last Monday.
A week earlier Inkwazi arrived in Qatar with a fuel leak.
The newspaper claims that although the jet apparently arrived fully repaired for the flight to Durban, Zuma refused to board despite assurances that everything was in order.
“The president did not refuse to fly in any aircraft as reported [yesterday]. 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 presidency said.
It said City Press also incorrectly reported that Zuma was on his way to Durban to deal with issues relating to the change of premiers in KwaZulu-Natal.
Zuma was on his way to Durban to officiate the launch of new Toyota models on Tuesday after which he needed to go to Cape Town to chair Cabinet the next morning.