Former ANC Member of Parliament Vytjie Mentor is seen at the state capture inquiry. Picture: Nhlanhla Phillips/African News Agency/ANA
Former ANC Member of Parliament Vytjie Mentor is seen at the state capture inquiry. Picture: Nhlanhla Phillips/African News Agency/ANA

#VytjieMentor to face cross-examination after tough day at #StateCaptureInquiry

By Zintle Mahlati Time of article published Feb 11, 2019

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Johannesburg - Former ANC MP Vytjie Mentor faced numerous questions regarding her evidence at the Zondo commission on Monday. 

Mentor had returned to the witness stand to do two things; clarify crucial issues with her evidence and also face questions from applications to cross-examine her. 

Advocate Mahlape Sello, for the commission's legal team, led Mentor in her evidence which at times seemed to be crumbling as questions were raised.

The first evidence dealt with was her testimony regarding Atul Gupta's presence at a government event in China in 2010.   

Sello introduced evidence from the Department of Home Affairs and Emirates Airline. 

According to the evidence, Atul Gupta, who Mentor had said was one of the Guptas she met in China, did not fly to China to attend the government's formal event there in August 2010. Atul Gupta did not leave the country at the time. 

The Department of Trade and Industries' (DTI) records also showed that Atul Gupta did not attend the China event, according to their records. 

Mentor questioned whether the commission had investigated the possibility that Gupta had four passports and that he could have used them during his travels and exited the country unnoticed. 

Sello said that possibility was investigated by the commission and the outcome was the same.

Mentor also formally backtracked on her evidence which implicated businessman Fana Hlongwane. 

Mentor testified at the commission in August that when she was on an Emirates flight to Dubai in 2010, Duduzane Zuma introduced her to a man he referred to as chairman. She identified the man as Hlongwane.

However, in November last year, Mentor backtracked on her testimony and her lawyers wrote to the commission and said after Mentor testified she decided to view images of Hlongwane online and it's then that she realised that she had made a mistake and that he was not the man she was introduced to on the flight.

However, Mentor insisted that she stands by her testimony that she was introduced to a man on the flight by Zuma.

She apologised to the commission and to Hlongwane on Monday and said she was pleased that Hlongwane had accepted her apology. 

Mentor was also presented with evidence from South African Airways (SAA) and Parliament's record that showed she did not travel to Joburg from Cape Town in 2010. 

She claimed she had travelled to Joburg to meet with former president Jacob Zuma. Even with no evidence, Mentor has insisted that she did travel that day. 

The commission's legal team also presented evidence that contradicted Mentor's on her visit to the Gupta compound in 2010. 

Mentor admitted that certain aspects that she described did not exist in the house. She requested that the building experts should test the various features that she claims had changed. 

She admitted that steps in the main house had seemed different as she struggled climbing up the stairs. 

She also said the bathroom seemed different along with the parameter wall and a passage where Zuma and Ajay had appeared from. 
Mentor has requested that these "new" features be tested to determine if any changes were made to the set-up of the home. 

Mentor is expected to return to the commission and face cross-examination on Tuesday. 

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