According to presidential spokesman Mac Maharaj in a statement, “The Presidency strongly rejects the allegations made in the Media24 titles this weekend that President Jacob Zuma had a hand in an alleged withdrawal of an academic honour for Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe in the People’s Republic of China and that they no longer work together.
“The reports are baseless and ridiculous. Neither the President nor his Private Office had any knowledge of this honour that was apparently turned down until enquiries came from Media24 or Naspers newspapers.
“Earlier this year the Presidency was also surprised by fictitious reports in the Sunday Independent newspaper that President Zuma was apparently preventing the Deputy President from travelling outside the country.
“We explained then that the international programme of the President and Deputy President is coordinated with DIRCO in consultation with the Presidency.
“The President and the Deputy President continue to work well together and share responsibilities including Cabinet.
“It would thus assist greatly if the media probed deeper before believing and publishing spurious allegations of this nature so as not to peddle falsehoods.”