OVERVIEW: Atul Gupta denies claims Mentor was offered mutton curry

2019-02-11 16:00

The judicial commission of inquiry into state capture continues with further testimony from former ANC MP Vytjie Mentor, who also faces cross-examination based on previous testimony.

WATCH LIVE: State Capture Inquiry 

(Courtesy of SABC)

Vytjie Mentor testifying at the state capture comm
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Last Updated at 01:50
11 Feb 17:07
The commission adjourns until Tuesday at 10:00.  

11 Feb 17:06

11 Feb 17:00
Now on red ruby ring.. Mentor says while Ajay Gupta may claim he doesn’t wear a red ruby ring on his index finger, it’s in the media. Sello says he said it’s not for Hindu purposes, Mentor says she stands by her views

11 Feb 16:57

11 Feb 16:51
Sello wants to put forward the Guptas version of events. Zondo agreed and Mentor comes in “please forgive me, I know I am very problematic” she questions the Guptas forcing their agenda on the commission.

11 Feb 16:50
Sello moves to clarify the brief; says it was visual, the chair can take further actions. Explanation accepted but Mentor now complaining about why she was made to waste two hours during the inspection.

11 Feb 16:49

11 Feb 16:48

11 Feb 16:45
Sello says the experts said a deeper level of investigation can take place, incl forensics to see if her claims are true - different features existed. Sello says this would cost around 810K, asks how she feels about this? Zondo stops her.

11 Feb 16:42
Mentor tells Zondi she’s always struggled to tell the difference between granite and marble.

11 Feb 16:40

11 Feb 16:37
Mentor: the bathroom was where I said it would be... the bathroom, the passage, the kitchen. Zondo interjects seeking to clarify something about the features she saw. 

11 Feb 16:36
Sello says Mentor gave the experts a list of things to text. Mentor complains about the narrow brief experts were given.

11 Feb 16:35
Sello says none of the features the experts were asked to identify at number 5 were found.

11 Feb 16:17

Zondo notes that it is now after 4pm, but decides to power through and allow Sello to complete her evidence with Mentor, so that tomorrow can be used for the matter of cross-examination.


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Mentor, becoming more and more animated now, explains to Zondo that she has an inclination to vividly remember architectural features and "beautiful things" that she might like. 

Mentor: "I can tell you, I had been to the parliament of Brazil. And that was about 10 years ago. I would tell you now, the features of things I like that are still standing, in my memory... there is a blue interior, there are plants inside where, because I noticed the contrast between our chambers and their chambers..." 

Mentor: "I had been to the parliament of what is called 'House of Deputies' in Italy. I also vividly remember how, if you ask me now, I will tell you distinct features of how those chambers differ with our chambers. I can tell you the features of the hotel foyer, in 2010, where I stayed."

Mentor: "I love art also, chair. I also love beautiful things..." 


11 Feb 15:58

11 Feb 15:57

Zondo to Mentor: "There are quite a few details, which you seem to remember very well..." 


11 Feb 15:54

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Mentor now describes in detail the inside of the home, upon entering, and how it differed from what she had seen in 2010. Mentor mentions a large "structure" as you enter, which wasn't there before. 



11 Feb 15:48

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11 Feb 15:24

Mentor lists some of the changes to the property that she had noticed since her last visit in 2010.



11 Feb 15:22

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Mentor raises concerns about her descriptions of features differing from the commission/experts' descriptions of the same.


11 Feb 15:09

11 Feb 15:08

Sello says the commission enlisted the services of an engineer and an architect (through the Department of Public Works) during the in loco inspection in Saxonwold. It had been eight years since Mentor had been inside the Guptas' home.

The team inspected specific architectural features, as detailed by Mentor in her prior testimony - a pillar, mural, and staircase, and other details from Mentor's recollection.


11 Feb 15:03

While the videos of the in loco inspection of the Gupta compound in Saxonwold by the commission's team has been submitted as evidence, Sello reminds Zondo that he still has to make a decision on how to handle the video that Hellens wanted to submit to the commission, which was shot by the Guptas' own professional videographer. 

By the same token, Zondo may also have to make the same decision about another video shot by Mentor's team during the visit.


11 Feb 14:50

11 Feb 14:49

Sello now submits into evidence the video of the in loco inspection of the Guptas' home in Saxonwold.


11 Feb 14:48

11 Feb 14:45

A suggestion is made to try using Mentor's Voyager number to see if it can provide some clarity on the flights she took, and when. 



11 Feb 14:40

The commission is back in session. 

Zondo stresses to Mentor just how "quite important" her testimony about travelling from Cape Town to Johannesburg is. 

Mentor still maintains that the records from SAA are not accurate. Zondo says that may well be the case, and Sello tells Zondo they may have to bring in someone from SAA as a witness, to testify on this issue.


11 Feb 14:32

Guptas want their own video of in loco inspection shown at state capture commission

The Guptas, through their legal representatives, have told the Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture that they want their own video of an inspection of the family's Saxonwold home to be submitted as evidence.

Former ANC MP Vytjie Mentor is back for cross-examination at the commission after giving testimony in August 2018. 

Before evidence leader Mahlape Sello managed to delve into Mentor's testimony, Mike Hellens, SC, acting on behalf of the Guptas, made the request.

"The credibility of Ms Mentor is brought sharply into focus in the in loco inspection," Hellens told Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo on Monday.

Three tapes exist: One shot by Mentor and her lawyers; a second by the commission, and a third by the Gupta family's representatives. 


11 Feb 13:30

Former president Jacob Zuma's one-time adviser Lakela Kaunda is one of the parties who have applied to cross-examine Mentor. 

Sello and Zondo have a brief discussion about how to move forward, before Zondo adjourns proceedings for the lunch break.

Proceedings will resume at 14:30.


11 Feb 13:26

11 Feb 13:21

11 Feb 13:21

Sello says that according to their records, Mentor had never taken a Monday flight during the period in question, as stated in her testimony. Zondo poses the possibility to Mentor.

Mentor: "I say that I have a problem with these records, and I maintain that I flew from Cape Town to Johannesburg on a particular Monday, and returned on that same Monday back to Cape Town. And that during that visit, I was taken to Sahara and to Saxonwold where I met the president. I stand by that." 


11 Feb 13:17

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