Former ANC Member of Parliament (MP) Mabel Petronella “Vytjie” Mentor has urged South Africans to “watch, monitor and follow” the commission of inquiry into state capture that gets underway in Johannesburg on Monday.
The Judicial Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture, Corruption and Fraud in the Public Sector including Organs of State which will be chaired by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo kicks off on Monday at 10 am in Parktown, Johannesburg.
Zondo announced in a statement on Friday that Mentor, along with former finance minister Mcebisi Jonas and others, would be among the first witnesses to be called to appear before the commission over the next weeks.
Mentor said she would appear before the commission on August 27.
Other witnesses include National Treasury official Ndleleni Willie Mathebula, former CEO of the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) Themba Maseko and acting GCIS CEO Phumla Williams.
In a Facebook post encouraging South Africans to closely observe the inquiry, Mentor said it is important that the country’s citizens watch the proceedings from the first day, Monday, August 20, “as the ground rules and important applications for the commission will be laid down”.
Mentor added that the first witness at the inquiry would take the stand this week.
“The Chapter of the Commission is very important in putting our country on a new path away from the degeneration and chaos of the past ten years.
“Let us please join hands together to follow the Commission.
“In this way, we could be able to wrestle our country from the abyss and doldrums that it has been plunged into whilst we looked on hopelessly. I thank you,” Mentor said.
In the State of Capture report released in November 2016 by former public protector Thuli Madonsela, it was said that Mentor claimed she was offered the post of public enterprises minister in 2010 at the Saxonwold estate of the infamous Guptas brothers while former president Jacob Zuma was allegedly in the adjoining room. Mentor says she refused the offer.
Meanwhile, IOL reports that the commission spokesperson, Mbuyiselo Stemela, said witnesses would not testify when the inquiry gets underway on Monday.
Stemela said Monday’s proceedings would involve an opening statement by advocate Paul Pretorius on behalf of the commission’s legal team and a reports presentation by advocate Thandi Norman.
The spokesperson said witnesses were expected to start testifying on Tuesday.
The Sunday Times reported that Zuma could give evidence at the inquiry of his alleged involvement with the Gupta family.
The report by the weekly revealed that Zondo has written to Zuma asking him to say whether he used information he came across as head of state to enrich himself and the Gupta family.
The inquiry was sparked by allegations that the Gupta family had undue influence over certain state institutions, as well as their relationship to Zuma.
Zuma established the inquiry earlier this year after the investigation and remedial action of the then Public Protector Madonsela and the order by the Pretoria High Court on December 14 last year.
Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng recommended that Zondo head the commission of inquiry.