How Guptas tried to capture Vytjie Mentor

28 August 2018 - 07:00 By Amil Umraw
Vytjie Mentor at the Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture in Parktown, Johannesburg on August 27 2018.
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 detailed how members of the controversial Gupta family allegedly tried to capture her allegiance in exchange for a cabinet post, when she started testifying at the State Capture Inquiry on Monday.

What began as an introduction on a flight to China ended within the family’s Saxonwold mansion where she was allegedly offered the job of public enterprises minister in exchange for cancelling South African Airways’ routes to India.

Implicated in the plot were the Gupta brothers Ajay, Atul and Rajesh, former president Jacob Zuma and his son, Duduzane.

Mentor was giving evidence before Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo’s commission of inquiry.

Mentor was visibly emotional when taking an oath of sworn testimony, her voice breaking subtly as she vowed to tell the truth. Afterwards, she was seen wiping her eyes.

Mentor began her testimony with an account of what transpired on her controversial trip to China during a state visit in 2010 when she chaired the portfolio committee on public enterprises. Mentor had approached Transnet to fund her trip (which came with a R155,000 price tag) to an investment summit between South Africa and China – a flouting of parliamentary procedure. This was eventually seen as the reason she lost her position.

But it was on that trip that Mentor says she became the target of the Guptas’ alleged state capture plot.

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