Vytjie Mentor. Picture: Sunday Times
Vytjie Mentor. Picture: Sunday Times

The ANC was aware as far back as 2010 that the controversial Gupta family was influencing cabinet appointments, according to testimony given at the state capture inquiry on Tuesday.

Former ANC MP Vytjie Mentor told the commission that she had informed parliament’s joint standing committee on intelligence, then chaired by Siyabonga Cwele, and the ANC secretariat that one of the Gupta brothers, Ajay, had offered her a ministerial job in 2010.

The ANC has always maintained that it was not aware that the Guptas were influencing cabinet appointments and that appointments were the prerogative of the president.

In 2016, following revelations by former deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas that the Gupta family had offered him a bribe and the job of finance minister, the ANC national executive committee called on its members to approach the secretary-general’s office if they had any information on the alleged influence on state matters and cabinet appointments.

Then secretary-general Gwede Mantashe said only one person made a submission.

Mentor alleged that Ajay Gupta had told her during a meeting in Saxonwold that then public enterprises minister Barbara Hogan was going to be removed in a cabinet reshuffle and that she could have the ministerial job if she agreed to terminate SAA’s route between SA and India. She refused.

Soon after the offer was made, she said, then president Jacob Zuma entered the room. When she told him about it, he did not seem shocked.