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Sat Jul 30 13:10:51 SAST 2016

Zuma ‘does not recall’ ex ANC MP who met with Guptas

TMG Digital | 15 March, 2016 19:01
Mentor in February joined other ANC members in speaking openly of being ''embarrassed'' and ''pained'' by the president after he was forced into a climbdown on Nkandla. File photo
Image by: MIKE HUTCHINGS / REUTERS

President Jacob Zuma on Tuesday night denied knowing former African National Congress caucus chairperson and party MP Vytjie Mentor‚ who dropped a bombshell by saying that she was offered a job as Cabinet Minister by the Gupta family - with Zuma in another room of their mansion.

The Presidency issued a statement saying: “President Jacob Zuma has no recollection of Ms Mentor. He is therefore unable to comment on any alleged incident in her career.”

Mentor‚ in conversation with DA member Johann Abrie on Facebook‚ asserted that she was offered a job as Minister of Public Enterprises by the Gupta family on the condition that she dropped the SAA flight route to India to give it to them.

“I refused and so was never made a minister‚” she said.

“The president was in another room when they offered this to me (at the Gupta home) in Saxonwold (Johannesburg)‚” she said. Mentor was then chairperson of the public enterprises portfolio committee.

Abrie said he had referred the conversation to Parliament.

The offer was made when Barbara Hogen was removed as Minister of Public Enterprises.

This is not the first time the former MP has criticised Zuma.

Mentor in February joined other ANC members in speaking openly of being ''embarrassed'' and ''pained'' by the president after he was forced into a climbdown on Nkandla.

Two years after denying liability for the splurging of millions in taxpayers' money on his private KwaZulu-Natal homestead‚ Zuma announced that he had written to the Constitutional Court proposing to repay some of the money in line with the recommendations of Public Protector Thuli Madonsela.

Mentor was scathing about the u-turn.

''The praise-singers are praising President Zuma for doing what he should have done two years ago. They are praising him for daring the nation on so many‚ many occasions by refusing to pay what he knew all along he had to pay.

''After taking this country to such lows‚ they are still praising him? Such 'love' for an individual above the love of the country‚ above the love of the organisation is mind-boggling. So help us God‚'' Mentor posted on Facebook.

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