South African President Jacob Zuma and Lesotho's Prime Minister Thomas Thabane(R)
JOHANNESBURG - President Jacob Zuma has cancelled his trip to the UK because he was refused an audience with the British prime minister, City Press reported on Sunday.
This was according to unnamed officials in London with knowledge of the planned visit.
Presidency spokesman Mac Maharaj told the newspaper Zuma had to cancel because his diary had been rescheduled.
"The president&39;s diary is subject to change at all times according to requirements," he said.
However, Zuma reportedly pulled out of a high-level gathering because he was refused an audience with British Prime Minister David Cameron.
Instead, Zuma was offered a meeting with Cameron&39;s deputy Nick Clegg, which he refused.
This was the second time this year that Zuma had cancelled a visit to the UK at short notice.
In February, he was to have attended an official memorial service for former president Nelson Mandela at Westminster Abbey, but cancelled.
He went to Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe&39;s daughter&39;s wedding instead.
On Friday, the presidency announced Zuma would not be going to London to attend the 3rd Annual innovaBRICS Conference. Maharaj said the country and the president would be represented by four ministers.
The delegation would be led by Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe.
He would be accompanied by the ministers of trade and industry, Rob Davies; finance, Nhlanhla Nene; and communications, Faith Muthambi.
According to the presidency, the country&39;s international marketing agency, Brand SA, had been a lead partner with innovaBRICS, a business networking forum, since its inception in 2012.
Maharaj said he would release a further statement on Sunday evening.
-Additional reporting Nonkululeko Ngqola
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