President Jacob Zuma’s office has denied claims he reshuffled his Cabinet last week after meeting a delegation from the Russian government.
Presidency spokesperson Bongani Ngqulunga on Tuesday said the allegations were false and “nothing else but information peddling”.
“No such meeting took place on Monday [16 October 2017] with either the president or anyone representing him‚” Ngqulunga told TimesLIVE.
The Sunday Times reported at the weekend that a high-level Russian delegation of intelligence operatives, military and police met with Zuma just before he informed the ANC’s top six officials about his decision to make changes to Cabinet.
Government insiders the weekly spoke to claimed the group came to the country to warn Zuma’s administration to implement the controversial R1-trillion nuclear build programme.
On Monday, the Russian Embassy also dismissed the report, saying it was unverified and fake news.
“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.
“We consider this slanderous piece, which is [as usual] based entirely on hearsay and unnamed ‘sources’ for information, unfit for a serious publication such as Sunday Times claims to be,” the Embassy said in a statement.