Johannesburg - Former ANC MP Vytjie Mentor’s evidence before the commission of inquiry into state capture that the Guptas offered to make her a Cabinet minister has been found to have ‘too many unsatisfactory features’.
Chief Justice Raymond Zondo said he was unable to make any finding based of the evidence of the erstwhile ActionSA Western Cape leader, who recently resigned from the party.
”I consider that there are too many unsatisfactory features in Mentor’s evidence to enable me to make a finding that - she was made an offer of a ministerial position by a Gupta family member - is true,” he said.
Justice Zondo said although there were features which count in Mentor’s favour, however, there is not enough to justify a finding that the incident did take place.
”I conclude that, on the probabilities and on the evidence before the commission, the incident did not happen and Mentor was not offered a position as Minister of Public Enterprises by a member of the Gupta family at the Gupta residence.“
According to Justice Zondo, the commission went to great lengths to try and establish from the record of airlines whether she had travelled from Cape Town to Johannesburg on the day in question but such evidence could not be found.
The commission also found that no parliamentary records about her trip could be found that could corroborate her evidence that she had undertaken an official trip from Cape Town to Johannesburg on the day in question.
”Most of the features of the Gupta house that she had testified about or that she had included in her affidavit could not be found when an inspection in loco was undertaken,” stated the report.
Even two of her friends, former ANC MP Hlengiwe Mgabadeli and businesswoman Daphney Nkosi did not corroborate her versions when they testified at the commission.
”The close friendship that she had had with them for many years was such that in my view there is no way that she would not have told them about what had happened to her at the Gupta residence if the incident had happened, and if she had told them, there is no way that both would not have remembered that she had told them about such an incident,” Justice Zondo explained.
Justice Zondo said it is true that she told COPE national spokesperson and former ANC MP Dennis Bloem but that it was strange that she told him (Bloem) and not one of her two close friends.