Warning to individuals named in Vytjie Mentor's testimony at #StateCaptureInquiry
Commission chairperson Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo yesterday warned that Mentor’s evidence was very pertinent, and also stated that if her testimony is found untrue, there would be serious consequences.
Mentor was due to testify yesterday or today but her appearance was postponed to the end of November because the commission’s legal team still had three incomplete investigations.
Advocate Mahlape Sello, a member of the commission’s legal team, said the results of the investigations would only be available in two weeks’ time.
She said that when Mentor testifies on November 30 the commission would deal with whether its investigations contradicted or corroborated her evidence.
In her testimony over three days in August, Mentor implicated former president Jacob Zuma, his son Duduzane, the Guptas, then ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe, the governing party’s deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte, Hawks officer Mandla Mtolo, controversial businessman Fana Hlongwane, and Zuma’s former chief of staff Lakela Kaunda.
Justice Zondo granted Kaunda, Mtolo and one other implicated party permission to cross-examine Mentor on condition they put up their version of the events narrated by the former chairperson of the National Assembly’s portfolio committee on public enterprises.
Mantashe, now the ANC national chairperson, has previously accused Mentor of lying by testifying that she informed him and Duarte of the Guptas’ offer to make her public enterprises minister in 2010.
He told Independent Media in August that his deputy was National Council of Provinces chairperson Thandi Modise and not Duarte at the time.
This week, it emerged that Mantashe will lead the ANC’s delegation to respond to former public enterprises minister Barbara Hogan’s testimony that the party interfered in the appointment of directors of state-owned entities.
The ANC will also respond to the country’s four major banks’ evidence that they were lobbied not to close accounts belonging to the Guptas due to suspicious transactions, among other things.
Former finance minister Nhlanhla Nene was issued with a “friendly” summons to appear before the commission yesterday, but his advocate Adila Hassan asked for the sitting to be postponed as her client had suffered an injury to his left ankle which limited his movement.
Hassan said Nene had been advised by his doctor not to fly or travel until January.
Justice Zondo granted Nene’s application to postpone his testimony due to his co-operation with the commission and said he should be present only when he had fully recovered.
Nene’s next appearance will be decided by the commission’s legal team and his lawyers.
Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan is scheduled to give evidence when the commission resumes on Monday.