Johannesburg - The Presidency has dismissed speculation about a cabinet shuffle being in the pipeline and that most of the recent decisions taken by President Jacob Zuma were intended to please SAA chairwoman Dudu Myeni or influenced by her.
The Presidency said on Saturday it “wishes to correct malicious rumours” about ministerial deployments and Myeni. It dismissed as “mischievous” reports that said:
* Malusi Gigaba had been “removed” as minister from public enterprises to Home Affairs because of an apparent fallout with Myeni and on the strength of the SAA chairwoman’s request to Zuma.
* The SAA was moved from the Department of Public Enterprises to the National Treasury because of a clash between Myeni and the Minister of Public Enterprises, Lynne Brown.
* Nhlanhla Nene, the finance minister until this week, was being redeployed because Myeni was unhappy with National Treasury directives to SAA with regard to the Airbus deal.
* Zuma and Myeni had a romantic relationship and had a son together.
The Presidency said cabinet changes were the prerogative of the president and that he was under no obligation to inform the cabinet or the national executive.
It warned the media about speculation about a cabinet shuffle, saying it considered this mischievous and misleading.
Noting reports that said the cabinet had not been told David van Rooyen was to replace Nene, it said: “The only people who are informed are those affected by the changes.”
Regarding rumours of a romantic relationship between Zuma and Myeni, the Presidency said: “Ms Myeni is the chairwoman of the Jacob Zuma Foundation. Her relationship with the president is purely professional. Rumours about a romance and a child are baseless and designed to cast aspersions on the president.”