Vytjie Mentor at the Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture in Parktown, Johannesburg, on August 27 2018.
Image: Masi Losi

Former ANC MP Vytjie Mentor on Monday described how Duduzane Zuma approached her on a flight to China in 2010 and introduced her to two members of the Gupta family.

Mentor said Zuma also introduced her to controversial South African businessman Fana Hlongwane on the same flight.

She was testifying before deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo’s judicial commission of inquiry into state capture on Monday.

Mentor‚ who served as the chairperson of the portfolio committee on public enterprises at the time‚ detailed the meeting that took place on an Emirates flight en route from South Africa to China‚ via Dubai.

"When I was aboard the flight to Dubai‚ a certain young man who was not alone knocked at the cubicle and introduced himself as Duduzane. I recognised him from media clips‚ from his short dreadlocks at the time…He was with two people‚" she said.

Mentor alleged that the people accompanying Duduzane were "Indian-looking" and identified one of them as Rajesh Gupta.

"He (Duduzane) later also requested if he could go and introduce me to another person…the other man he took me to was a black man‚ an African man‚" she said.

Mentor said the man was Hlongwane.

However‚ Mentor admitted more than twice during her testimony that she mixes up Hlongwane's name with Brian Hlongwa – the former Gauteng MEC of health – who Mentor initially named in her 2017 book as the man she met on the flight. It was this trip to China that got Mentor axed as a member of parliament.

In December 2010‚ news broke that Mentor had joined Zuma on a state visit to China‚ funded by Transnet.

She was fired as a member of parliament after it was revealed she had asked for the sponsorship‚ which amounted to about R155‚000‚ without following parliamentary processes.  

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Former ANC MP Makhosi Khoza reacts to the revelations from the state capture inquiry hearings so far and also answers our question on whether she thinks former president Jacob Zuma will come to testify.