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South Africa

Vytjie Mentor: An early whistle blower of state capture with little credibility

Although Mentor was among a few people who spoke up about claims of the Gupta family’s involvement in the appointment of individuals to key positions in the state and government under former President Jacob Zuma’s tenure, her evidence was torn apart by the commission.

FILE: Former ANC MP Vytjie Mentor gives testimony at the state capture commission of inquiry on 27 August 2018. Picture: Christa Eybers/Eyewitness News

JOHANNESBURG – Former member of Parliament Vytjie Mentor’s testimony before the state capture commission has been dismissed, with the inquiry’s final report saying that she was not offered a position as minister of public enterprises by a member of the Gupta family at the Gupta residence.

Although Mentor was among a few people who spoke up about claims of the Gupta family’s involvement in the appointment of individuals to key positions in the state and government under former President Jacob Zuma’s tenure, her evidence was torn apart by the commission.

She had as far as 2016 raised the alarm about the issue on various platforms, even with the Public Protector.

READ: Final state capture report in full

One of the most memorable moments of the oral evidence presented before the four-year state capture commission had to have been that of Mentor.

Jaws dropped as she detailed how Zuma linked her with members of the Gupta family and was present at their Saxonwold residence when she was supposedly offered ....

She spent five days on NAIJAONPOINT chair at the commission.

One of the factors which discredited her version of events was the commission’s acceptance of the records and submissions made by former President Zuma’s aide, Lakhela Kaunda.

Mentor had claimed that Kaunda called her to arrange a meeting with Zuma and the Guptas.

However, Kaunda produced evidence that outweighed Mentor’s recollection.

When confronted with these details, she refused to concede that she could have been mistaken, with the commission saying that it showed either that she was reluctant to accept that she may have been mistaken or that her entire testimony could not be trusted.

In the end, the commission’s chairperson, Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, said that he found unsatisfactory features in Mentor’s evidence.

Not even her two friends could corroborate her versions, which she claimed to have confided in them about.

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