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Another Hawks official protected Zuma and Guptas, #StateCaptureInquiry hears

ANA FILE -- Johannesburg 27-08-18 People watch a big screen set up at the commission, former ANC MP Vytjie Mentor testifying at the Zondo Commission. FILE PHOTO: Karen Sandison/African News Agency(ANA)

ANA FILE -- Johannesburg 27-08-18 People watch a big screen set up at the commission, former ANC MP Vytjie Mentor testifying at the Zondo Commission. FILE PHOTO: Karen Sandison/African News Agency(ANA)

Published Aug 28, 2018

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JOHANNESBURG -  Former ANC parliamentarian Vytjie Mentor on Tuesday said she became worried that her police case against former president Jacob Zuma and the Gupta brothers would be swept under the carpet after laying charges against them for alleged corruption in 2016.

Mentor said her fears were realised when official Mandla Mtolo, who identified himself as an advocate for the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI), known as the Hawks, told her that her criminal case cannot be investigated unless she removes Zuma's name from the complaint she filed with Western Cape top detectives in May 2016. 

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She discovered a month later that her statement had been fetched with a private jet and was in Pretoria at the instruction of former Hawks boss Berning Ntlemeza.

She said she agreed to remove Zuma's name from her statement.

"I told Mtolo that I will remove it...but I was tricking him because I wanted the investigation to begin. My plan was to reinstate Zuma's name again later during the investigation," she told the commission.

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Last week, former deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas testified that the Hawks' head on anti-corruption unit, Major General Zintle Mnonopi tried to quash his case against the Guptas after the latter offered him a promotion to finance minister and a R600 million bribe in 2015. 

Jonas said Mnonopi dismissed his case as a ''DA matter'', referring to opposition party Democratic Alliance and inferring that the complaint was anti-ANC-led government.

According to the former deputy minister, Mnonopi wanted him to sign a statement she had prepared purporting that Jonas did not have the evidence, did not open a case with the police, and was not prepared to do so in future. 

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Jonas, accompanied by his lawyer Max Boqwana, refused to sign the statement. He later sent the Hawks a legal statement on the details of his complaint against the Guptas.

Mentor will finish testifying on Wednesday. Former government spokesman Themba Maseko will then take the stand as a fourth witness at the inquiry.

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African News Agency (ANA)

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