Mentor: Zuma wasn’t angry after I declined Gupta offer
Read Thuli Madonsela’s interview with state capture whistleblower Vytjie Mentor.
JOHANNESBURG – The allegation by former ANC MP Vytjie Mentor that the Gupta family had offered her the position of public enterprises minister if she assisted with influencing the South African Airways cancellation of the India route was a key part of the state capture probe by former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela.
Madonsela’s report State of Capture was released on Wednesday after an order by the Pretoria High Court.
Below is an unedited extract from the State of Capture report dealing with Madonsela’s interview with Mentor:
5.15. The interview with Ms Mentor was held on 22 July 2016 in Cape Town. She informed of the following:
a) Ms Mentor informed me that she was offered the position of Minister of Public Enterprises by the members of the Gupta family at their Saxonwold home in Johannesburg, with President Zuma present in the house. The post was occupied by former African National Congress (“ANC”) Member of Parliament (“MP”), Ms Barbara Hogan at the time;
b) Ms Mentor stated that a week before Cabinet reshuffle in October 2010, she travelled from Cape Town to Johannesburg on a South African Airways (“SAA”) flight believing she was going to meet with President Zuma. The meeting was arranged by a staffer from the Presidency. Upon her arrival at OR Tambo International Airport (“ORTIA”), she was welcomed by two unknown men at the arrivals lounge who held her name tag. The men drove her to the offices of Sahara Computers first. They later drove her to the residence of the Gupta family in Saxonwold, where the job offer was made;
c) She stated that she was told she could become a Minister within a week or so, if she assisted with influencing the South African Airways cancellation of the India route, she would become Minister of Public Enterprises. She declined the offer;
d) Ms Mentor stated that Zuma emerged minutes later from another entrance;
e) She stated “The president was not angry that she declined the offer. He apparently said to her in Zulu, something like ‘it’s okay Ntombazane (girl)... take care of yourself”;
f) Mentor recounted how Zuma acted as usual like a father and a leader and immediately accepted that she disagreed with the proposal, and escorted her to the window-tinted vehicle outside; and
g) Mentor said she was not aware of any cabinet reshuffling plans at the time until she heard about the actual reshuffling a few days after the offer of a Cabinet post was made to her by members of the Gupta family.
Read the Public Protector's full 'State ofCapture' report below: