#StateCaptureInquiry: Vytjie Mentor does an about turn on Fana Hlongwane

2018-11-16 13:39
Former ANC MP Vytjie Mentor has admitted that she may have incorrectly identified a man she was introduced to by Duduzane Zuma as Fana Hlongwane during her testimony at the Zondo commission into state capture. ( Conrad Bornman, Gallo Images, Rapport, file)

Former ANC MP Vytjie Mentor has admitted that she may have incorrectly identified a man she was introduced to by Duduzane Zuma as Fana Hlongwane during her testimony at the Zondo commission into state capture. ( Conrad Bornman, Gallo Images, Rapport, file)

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WATCH: #StateCaptureInquiry

2018-08-29 09:46

Former ANC MP Vytjie Mentor is expected to conclude her testimony at the commission of inquiry into state capture on Wednesday. She will be followed by former Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) boss Themba Maseko. WATCH

Former ANC MP Vytjie Mentor has admitted that she may have incorrectly identified a man she was introduced to by Duduzane Zuma as Fana Hlongwane during her testimony at the Zondo commission into state capture.

In a letter sent by law firm Webber Wentzel to the commission, chaired by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, Mentor states that after having given testimony, she decided to view images of Fana Hlongwane on the internet.

She states that after reflecting on the images she had come to realise that they were "not of the person [she] was introduced to by Mr Duduzane Zuma on the Emirates flight as 'Chairman'".  

In August Mentor testified to the commission that Transnet had booked her a first-class ticket to China on Emirates via Dubai.

Advance team

She said on board the flight, it was Duduzane Zuma who introduced her to Rajesh Gupta, businessman Fana Hlongwane and another unknown man of Indian descent.

Mentor said Gupta told her during the introduction that one of his brothers was already in China as part of the advance team in charge of logistics.

"I actually did not know what an advance team is and it was explained [that] it's a team that goes ahead for security and logistics and he said it to me with pride," she had told the commission.

However, in her letter, Mentor said she made an error.

“In the circumstances, our client wishes to furnish, and hereby gives, a sincere apology to Mr Fana Hlongwane for any embarrassment and/or adverse imputation which the mistake may have caused,” the letter reads.

The letter also states that Mentor was willing to go on record at the commission to publicly extend her apology to Hlongwane and rectify the error.

“We would, however, be very grateful if she could be advised as soon as possible whether this will be required,” it read.

Letter authentic

When contacted Mentor referred News24 to Webber Wentzel and the commission.

Partner at Webber Wentzel Tshego Phala confirmed to News24 that the letter was authentic and said it was, however, an issue to them that the letter had been leaked as it was only meant to be seen by Zondo.  

"It was a letter that was sent to Deputy Chief Justice Zondo and it is obviously for him, within the rules of the commission to decide how he would deal with the matter," Phala said.

Phala said it was unfortunate that the letter had been leaked despite there been regulations in place to prevent this.

She said they would be guided by the commission on the way forward.  


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Read more on:    vytjie mentor  |  state capture  |  state capture inquiry
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