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Pretoria: The Presidency has refuted claims that President Jacob Zuma was due to announce free education in the State of the Nation Address (SONA) in February this year.

“The President never planned to make such an announcement. The thrust of SONA2017 was radical economic transformation flowing from the governing party the ANC’s January 8 statement and the Cabinet and governing party makgotla”

According to a story in the Sunday Times newspaper titled “How the Treasury blocked Zuma“, the newspaper claims that the President planned to announce free education and was stopped by the National Treasury.

The Presidency has refuted these claims as a fabrication.

In a statement released on Sunday, the Presidency reiterated that a commission of inquiry into higher education funding headed by Judge John Heher was appointed and the President waited for the Commission to conclude its business.

‘At no stage did he plan to make any announcements that would undermine the work of the Commission.” said the Presidency.

President Jacob Zuma has tasked the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Higher Education Funding headed by Minister Jeff Radebe and the Presidential Fiscal Committee to process the Heher Commission report and advise him on how to respond to the content thereof.

The Presidency said any action going forward will be as a result from careful consideration by relevant structures in government.-SAnews.gov.za

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