Former African National Congress (ANC) MP Vytjie Mentor says the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI), better known as the Hawks, have finally contacted her after she reported allegations that the controversial Gupta family had offered her the position of public enterprises minister to the unit earlier this year in March.
Mentor dropped a bombshell at the time when she accused the family of offering her the post at their infamous Saxonwold compound, provided that she assisted them with influencing the South African Airways cancellation of the India route, a week before Zuma reshuffled his Cabinet in October 2010.
She claimed Zuma emerged minutes later from another entrance at the Johannesburg home and apparently had no problem with her declining the offer.
She was among the witnesses who testified in former public protector Thuli Madonsela’s high stakes probe into allegations of improper and unethical conduct against Zuma and the Guptas, who are accused of having undue influence over him over the appointment of cabinet ministers and board members of state-owned companies.
At the weekend, the elite police crime fighting unit said they had failed to locate her after several attempts to get in touch with her through her contact details and at her Cape Town home, but Mentor has rubbished this, saying the Hawks are led by incompetent people.
“Only when they saw in the media that I had gone to the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) to report them, then they go around saying that they can’t find me.
“They sent me an SMS and I have responded to them … this is how I am. You are calling me, and I am answering your call. They are headed by foolish people who cannot find a poor woman. I am not even a criminal,” Mentor said.
In her interview with Madonsela on July 22, 2016, in Cape Town, Mentor gave her full account of what happened when she came to Johannesburg to purportedly meet with Zuma:
- 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;
- 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;
- She stated that she was told she could, within a week or so if she assisted with influencing the South African Airways cancellation of the India route, become minister of public enterprises. She declined the offer;
- Ms Mentor stated that Zuma emerged minutes later from another entrance;
- 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”;
- 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;
- 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.