Mentor struggled to identify Gupta Saxonwold compound, inquiry hears

Vytjie Mentor gave detailed descriptions of the Gupta’s Saxonwold compound when she testified before the commission late in 2018, saying she remembers everything.

A screengrab of Vytjie Mentor giving testimony at the Zondo Commission on 12 February 2019.

JOHANNESBURG - The state capture commission has heard how Vytjie Mentor couldn’t identify the Gupta’s Saxonwold compound, which she claimed to have visited almost a decade ago.

Architects who inspected the residence told the state capture commission that the former parliamentarian’s description of the compound differed from what they witnessed.

Earlier this week, Mentor was questioned about her visit to the house in 2010, where she claims the controversial family offered her the position of Public Enterprises Minister while former President Jacob Zuma was in another room.

Mentor gave detailed descriptions of the Gupta family’s Saxonwold compound when she testified before the commission late in 2018, saying that she remembers everything.

But when she was taken to the house a few months later she struggled to recognise it.

Erna Wiese is one of the architects from the Department of Public Works who travelled with Mentor to Saxonwold.

“When we arrived at the property, Ms Mentor was not sure whether it was the property. She couldn’t identify the house with 100% certainty.”

Meanwhile, former African National Congress MP Dennis Bloem returned to the commission on Thursday and corroborated Mentor’s testimony, saying she told him about the Gupta’s ministerial offer in 2010.

The commission resumes next week with Treasury officials expected to take the stand.

The inquiry will also spend three weeks dealing with the rot and mismanagement at Eskom.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)