Presidency lashes out at ‘malicious rumours’

The Presidency said it wishes to correct ‘malicious rumours’ that have been published by some media houses.

FILE: The Presidency says it is incorrect to draw conclusions. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The Presidency has lashed out at what it calls malicious rumours that have been published in the media regarding ministerial deployments and the South African Airways (SAA) board chairperson Dudu Myeni.

In a statement released today, the Presidency said it wishes to correct 'malicious rumours' that have been circulating and which have been published by some media houses

NENE REMOVED FOR REINING ON SAA BOARD

Speculation is rife that President Jacob Zuma removed Nhlanhla Nene as finance minister this week over his disagreement on the nuclear deal and for reining in on the SAA board.

"I have decided to remove Nhlanhla Nene as Minister of Finance, ahead of his deployment to another strategic position," said Zuma in a statement.

David van Rooyen was then appointed to be the finance minister and sworn in on Thursday.

Nene's firing came less than a week after he issued a stern warning to the SAA board that should it go ahead with a deal with Airbus without his approval, it would amount to financial misconduct.

He also said that it could be grounds for sanctions against Miyeni and other directors.

Miyeni is also chair of the Jacob Zuma Foundation.

The removal of Nene has since sent the currency into a tailspin.

ZUMA & MYENI'S RELATIONSHIP

The Presidency also addresses claims that Myeni has a romantic relationship with the president, saying the two have a "purely professional [relationship] that is based on the running of the [Jacob Zuma] Foundation.

It has referred to these allegations as "baseless and designed to cast aspersions on the president."

Last month, Myeni said she was under attack because she was driving a transformation agenda at the embattled national airline.

She spoke to Eyewitness News after appearing before a joint meeting of Parliament's Finance and Public Enterprises Committees.

GIGABA'S ALLEGED FALLOUT WITH MYENI

The Presidency says it is incorrect to draw conclusions that Minister Malusi Gigaba was removed as public enterprises and redeployed to where he is currently the home affairs minister due to an apparent fallout with Myeni and that she requested the reshuffle.

It added that Gigaba served his full term as Minister of Public Enterprises until the elections in May 2014 and that all terms of office automatically lapse after elections.