Mentor won't become ACDP MP just yet

2019-03-28 16:25
Former ANC MP Vytjie Mentor, with her new party leader, Kenneth Meshoe of the ACDP. (Jan Gerber, News24)

Former ANC MP Vytjie Mentor, with her new party leader, Kenneth Meshoe of the ACDP. (Jan Gerber, News24)

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State capture whistleblower Vytjie Mentor "gave up" on the ANC in 2017, she said on Thursday upon joining the ACDP.

She said she then started looking for a political home, and last year she decided the "God-centred" ACDP was the party for her. 

"State capture affirmed the correctness of my decision to leave the ANC," Mentor said at a press briefing at Parliament.

Mentor, an experienced legislator who chaired the ANC caucus and Portfolio Committee on Public Enterprises previously, will not represent the ACDP in Parliament.

"I will be recruiting for the ACDP, and I will be asking people to vote for the ACDP. For me, it is not about the list," she said. "My role will be to participate with others in growing the ACDP and growing its electoral base.

"I don't have any long-term plans for now," Mentor said. "My plans are just to grow the ACDP and to secure a bigger electoral margin for it for now. Those are my short-term plans. 

"I chose the ACDP because it resonates with my thinking and it resonates with my values. To you it might look conservative, to me, it is the right party. And I think I will thrive in the ACDP and I have no concerns." 

ACDP leader Kenneth Meshoe confirmed that Mentor didn't join the party to be on the list to come to Parliament, but while the list was closed for now, they would consider sending her to Parliament at a later stage. 

"It just shows her heart. She's here to help grow a political party that she believes can put South Africa in a much better place than it is today." 

"She's not the only one coming to the ACDP not wanting a position," Meshoe said.

"Ms Mentor is probably best-known for her tremendous courage in speaking out against state capture and corruption within the ANC, particularly the cosy relationship with the Gupta family," Meshoe said. 

"She brings to the ACDP a wealth of experience in governance and an incredible passion to serve and do what is in the best interest of all South Africans."

Meshoe and Grant Haskin, Cape Town councillor and the party's election campaign manager, expect increased electoral support for the ACDP come May 8, with Haskin claiming that "people around the country are spontaneously finding the ACDP". 

Ready to take over

"We have never been so prepared for an election as this one," Haskin said. He said the party was ready to "take over government".

He also said the DA's campaigning on the idea that a vote for a small party is a wasted vote was nothing new.

"The DA has proven they are not the solution for South Africa," Haskin said. Haskin also said President Cyril Ramaphosa's "new dawn faded into the mist". 

Meshoe said if the DA continues in this vein of campaigning against small parties, he would start speaking about the DA's corruption, which the ACDP is privy to because ACDP member of the provincial legislature and Western Cape premier candidate Ferlon Christians is the chairperson of the standing committee on public accounts in the Western Cape legislature.

Meshoe said the country was in a mess.

Change needed

"Change is needed desperately. For us to be a safe, prosperous country where jobs are available, we cannot try something of the same. We agree, as she (Mentor) has already said, that we have tried a politics that excludes God, and that led us into the mess we're in. We are going to say to South Africans: Let's try a politics that acknowledges God.

"When things get difficult, then we must say, 'Lord, help us please'," he added in Afrikaans. 

READ: #Statecaptureinquiry: Vytjie Mentor questions her role as a witness

In 2016 Mentor was one of the first people from within the ANC to speak publicly about the Guptas' influence on former president Jacob Zuma and the party when she alleged the Guptas had offered her the position of minister of public enterprises in 2010, on condition that she arranged for SAA to drop its India route, allowing a Gupta-linked company to take over the route. 

She also claimed Zuma emerged from another room of the Gupta mansion in Saxonwold during the meeting.

She testified before the Zondo commission into state capture last month. 

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Read more on:    anc  |  acdp  |  vytjie mentor  |  kenneth meshoe  |  politics  |  elections 2019

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