Vytjie Mentor's state capture testimony hits a snag
Jacob Zuma was not shocked when he learnt of the offer, the former MP says
Former ANC MP Vytjie Mentor has told the state-capture inquiry that shortly after a Gupta brother offered her a ministerial job, she informed ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe and his deputy, Jessie Duarte.
Mentor said she had a meeting at Luthuli House with the two regarding her trip to China.
However, her testimony could now hit a snag as Duarte was not in the ANC secretariat in 2010, the time Mentor said she reported the matter to them. At the time, Thandi Modise — who is now national council of provinces (NCOP) chair — was Mantashe’s deputy.
Duarte was elected deputy secretary-general at the ANC’s 2012 Mangaung conference and re-elected last year at Nasrec.
Mentor said that when she told Mantashe and Duarte about the offer, Mantashe left the meeting. She continued to have a short discussion with Duarte about it, who allegedly said the issue was noted.
Mentor has told the commission that in 2010 she was taken to the Guptas’ Saxonwold home and told she would be meeting then president Jacob Zuma. While there, Ajay Gupta allegedly told her that she could get the job of public enterprises minister on condition that she terminate the South African Airways (SAA) SA-India route.
She said Ajay Gupta had also informed her that the public enterprises minister at the time, Barbara Hogan, was going to be removed during a cabinet reshuffle. Mentor said she refused the offer. Shortly after the offer was made, she alleged that Zuma entered the room and when she told him about it he did not seem shocked.
Hogan was removed from her cabinet position and Malusi Gigaba was appointed public enterprises minister.
Mentor says a Hawks officer pressured her into removing Zuma’s name from her criminal complaint against the Gupta family. She claimes she agreed to do so‚ in the hope that it would result in her case actually being investigated.
According to Mentor‚ Hawks official, a Captain Mtolo, told her “the matter is not going to proceed unless I remove president Zuma from my statement”. She said he previously told her “I have complained about president Zuma and I have tied their hands”.
“He had problems with where I said there is a corrupt relationship between the Guptas‚ the president and his son.” said Mentor.
The Zondo inquiry was provided with a copy of Mentor’s typed statement‚ which shows that Zuma’s name had been “struck through”.