Vytjie Mentor in court bid over state capture report
Johannesburg - Former ANC MP Vytjie Mentor has joined a chorus of voices asking the Office of the Public Protector to release its state capture report, after a court application by President Jacob Zuma to quash it.
Mentor is concerned that if Zuma succeeds in his application, it could set a dangerous precedent.
On Tuesday, Mentor filed papers in the high court in Pretoria against the president’s application to prevent the report’s release. She again placed on the record her knowledge of a corrupt relationship between Zuma and the controversial Gupta family.
The report, started by former public protector Thuli Madonsela, has investigated allegations that the Guptas and their companies have undue influence over Zuma.
In her affidavit, Mentor claimed that she was offered the position of public enterprises minister by one of the Guptas in exchange for influencing South African Airways into dropping its routes to India.
This would allow an airline in which the Guptas invested to take over the routes. When she rejected the offer, Mentor claims the president told her: “It’s okay ntombazana (girl), you have come such a long way on crutches.”
“As far as I am aware, I am the only person (to have made a public statement to the effect) that this happened with the president’s knowledge and approval,” she wrote.
Shortly after being interviewed by Madonsela regarding her allegations, Mentor posted a Facebook message wherein she once again cast aspersions on the president.
“Dear Zuma, I spoke to the PP. I revealed things about you. You and your folly relationship with the Guptas through your son (Duduzane). I am NOT scared of you, of your lies, of your tricks, your delaying tactics, your attempted intimidation, your harassment and what you normally do to people,” she posted.
However, according to her affidavit, her Facebook account was hacked two days later and blocked, which she believes was no coincidence.
In her own intervention of the president’s application to prevent the release of the report, Mentor argues that the application is unconstitutional.
In the application, Zuma requested the opportunity to question all those interviewed by the public protector, including Mentor, and for two more months to answer the questions originally posed to him by Madonsela.
Mentor argues that if the president got his way, it would set a precedent that discouraged whistle-blowers from coming forward, as they would be subjected to cross-examination by those they have implicated in corruption.
Mentor is the latest in a series of people who have opposed the application, including opposition parties.
The EFF, UDM, Cope and DA have all demanded the release of the report.