#StateCaptureInquiry: Vytjie Mentor insists records were tampered with

2019-02-12 19:58
Former ANC MP Vytjie Mentor. (Conrad Bornman, Gallo Images, Rapport, file)

Former ANC MP Vytjie Mentor. (Conrad Bornman, Gallo Images, Rapport, file)

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If it was decided that Vytjie Mentor's evidence before the state capture commission of inquiry was inadmissible, what would her response be?

This was the question which commission chairperson, Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, asked Mentor on Tuesday.

"One of the things that maybe someone will say is South African Airways (SAA ) records were put up and you had issues, Home Affairs records were put up and you had issues with them, cellphone records are put up and you have issues with them.

"Someone might say you have [an] issue with all the records and I therefore should not accept your version of events, what would you say to that?" Zondo asked.

In response, Mentor suggested that there was a possibility that records may have been tampered with.

"A lot of time has lapsed since I went public about state capture. A lot of time has lapsed before this commission could even see the light of day.

"It is possible that that length of time gave people time to interfere with records," she claimed.

ALSO READ: Mentor insists flight details are accurate despite discrepancies

She also called for a forensic investigation into the records, but Zondo did not comment on her request.

Zondo's question arose from the fact that Mentor took issue with the cellphone records of Lakela Kaunda during cross-examination.

Kaunda served as the chief of staff and a spokesperson during Jacob Zuma's term as president.

She alleged that Kaunda phoned her on a Sunday evening before she travelled to Johannesburg from Cape Town in 2010 to arrange for her to meet Zuma. From the meeting, she was transported to the Gupta home in Saxonwold, where she was allegedly offered a ministerial position.

Advocate Henry Cowley, who represents Kaunda, highlighted that the cellphone records of October 2010 do not show communication to any of Mentor's numbers.

"How does Kaunda have her records when a cellphone provider only keeps five years' worth of communication. So how did she get hers?

"I cannot attest to the veracity of these records because they are not from the service provider but from Kaunda herself," Mentor said in response.

READ: State capture inquiry: Mentor insists flight details are accurate despite discrepancies

Mentor maintained that she communicated with Kaunda that Sunday evening.

"I am very clear that Miss Kaunda spoke to me that night," she insisted.

Kaunda's records were not the only ones she took issue with. Earlier on Tuesday, she requested that an independent expert be brought in to look at SAA and Department of Home Affairs records.

But Zondo explained: "It is not clear to me why we would need anybody else to testify on SAA records because we are looking at SAA records."

Mentor's testimony ended on Tuesday afternoon.

She thanked the commission for its work.

"I want to thank the chair for allowing me to blow the whistle on state capture, as much as I have been aggrieved in the manner in which I felt I was being interrogated. I think this is a very good process and I want to encourage South Africans to come forward," she said.

The commission is expected to resume on Thursday with the testimony of former ANC MP Dennis Bloem.

Read more on:    vytjie mentor  |  state capture inquiry

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