Book thrown at Vytjie Mentor over Brian Hlongwa error
State capture commission witness Vytjie Mentor has been given an ultimatum to apologise and withdraw copies of her book from the shelves which contain claims that link former Gauteng ANC chief whip Brian Hlongwa to the Guptas.
Hlongwa, through his lawyers, has written to Mentor warning her that failure to comply with his demand would compel him to take legal action against her.
Mentor’s book, No Holy Cows, was touted as a “tell-all tale” of corruption during her political career between 2002 and 2017. It was marketed as an exposé of how the administration of former president Jacob Zuma was controlled by the Gupta family.
In the book she identified Hlongwa as the man Zuma’s son Duduzane introduced her to on a flight to China. But at the Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture she conceded the claim was inaccurate and said it was businessman Fana Hlongwane, not Hlongwa. She later made another U-turn when she said that after looking at Hlongwane’s pictures on the internet she realised it was not him either. But Hlongwa is aggrieved that there has been no correction of the incorrect information in the book.
In his letter of demand, she is given an ultimatum to publicly apologise in “suitable media”. The letter says: “Suitable media are Ms Mentor’s Facebook page … as well as printed and electronic newspapers.”
Hlongwa also demands a correction to the book.
“In respect of copies of the book which have been printed and distributed to booksellers, that the publisher immediately issue an instruction to such booksellers to remove all copies from sale until the corrigendum has been effected.
“In the case of existing printed copies of the book … not yet …. distributed or sold, the correction to take the form of a corrigendum to be inserted into existing printed books before they may be offered for sale.”
When contacted for comment, Mentor refused to speak to the Sunday Times.