Zuma has 'no recollection' of Mentor - Presidency

Durban – The Presidency would not be drawn on claims made by former ANC MP, Vytjie Mentor, that she had been offered a top ministerial position by the Gupta family.

“President Jacob Zuma has no recollection of Ms Mentor. He is therefore unable to comment on any alleged incident in her career,” said presidency spokesperson, Bongani Majola.

However, in a report by the Sowetan dated December 2010, Mentor, then public enterprises portfolio committee chairperson is said to have joined Zuma on a state visit to China. The report details how the then Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba revealed through parliamentary questioning that the ANC was investigating Mentor after she received payment of R155 000 from Transnet for her trip to China including a first class air ticket. 

On Monday night Mentor said in a Facebook post that she had been offered a job by the family.

She wrote: "But they had previously asked me to become Minister of Public Enterprises when Barbara Hogan got the chop, provided that I would drop the SAA flight-route to India and give to them. I refused and so I was never made a Minister. The President was in another room when they offered me this in Saxonworld. [sic]"

Her post was a response to another Facebook post by DA member and former Cope spokesperson, Johann Abrie who had posted a cartoon of the presidential seal with the face of one of the Gupta brothers.

Gupta's challenge to Mentor

Mentor, who is currently on holiday in Thailand, referred reporters in a Facebook post to Parliament for comment on the matter.

The Gupta family on Tuesday challenged Mentor to file an affidavit stating under oath that she was offered a ministerial position by the family.

The family said there had never been a meeting between them and Mentor where Mentor was offered a top job, as she had claimed.

“Facebook is not the appropriate forum to air such a complaint, and we can only assume it is an attempt to gain personal profile and media attention. We challenge Vytjie Mentor to file an affidavit," a Gupta family spokesperson said in a statement.

“South Africa has a robust constitution and a strict process governing appointment of Ministers and Deputy Ministers.

“We have every faith that if anybody tried to abuse power around appointments, they would be rebuffed by our constitution and our strong political leadership.”

The family also said because the allegations were false, publishing them would be deemed defamatory and that it would be taking legal action.


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