Putin had no influence in Zuma cabinet reshuffle: Russian embassy
The Russian embassy has refuted reports that President Vladimir Putin had a hand in President Jacob Zuma’s cabinet reshuffle last week.
“We are highly disappointed to see yet another example of sensationalism and fake news in South African press‚ especially in an evident attempt to emulate the worst kind of groundless anti-Russian attacks by some of the global mainstream media‚” the embassy said in a statement.
“We consider this (a) slanderous piece‚ which is (as usual) based entirely on hearsay and unnamed sources … One could speculate that only a desperate‚ craving for extra publicity could force a once a reputable outlet (to) resort to tabloid-grade methods.”
The embassy said it was not aware of any Russian delegation coming to South Africa last week‚ as reported in the Sunday Times.
The paper reported that Zuma reshuffled his cabinet after meeting a delegation from the Russian government on Monday.
Government insiders said the group came to warn Zuma to implement the R1-trillion nuclear build project.
Zuma announced the removal of Mmamoloko Kubayi from the energy portfolio‚ replacing her with former state security minister David Mahlobo.
Mahlobo was trained in Russia after taking up the intelligence post in 2014.