Vytjie Mentor calls for an independent probe into ‘state capture’

Vytjie Mentor. Picture: File
Vytjie Mentor. Picture: File

Vytjie Mentor, one of the whistle-blowers in the “state capture” scandal, supports the establishment of an independent judicial commission of inquiry into the allegations.

She also supports the establishment of a special ANC national conference.

However, she wouldn’t comment on the process that has been announced by ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe – in which ANC members have been urged to take information and allegations regarding the Gupta family and “state capture” to Luthuli House for investigation.

Her comments today came after the controversy that erupted after she and Deputy Minister of Finance Mcebisi Jonas revealed that the influential Gupta family had offered them Cabinet positions. And Themba Maseko, former head of the Government Communication and Information System, told the Sunday Times that President Jacob Zuma personally phoned him in 2010 to ensure that he met with the Gupta family.

The Guptas have denied the claims.

In her latest Facebook post on Thursday, Mentor said she supported an independent judicial commission investigation into an “improper relationship” between the Guptas, Zuma, and others.

A similar proposal was previously made by the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation and a group of 25 former umKhonto weSizwe veterans.

Mentor said in a follow-up telephonic interview on Thursday that Zuma would not be able to appoint a commission himself, because he was being implicated in these “improper relationships”.

“To circumvent this problem, the president might have to go on leave so that the commission could be appointed by the deputy president.”

Mentor also thought that investigations by the Hawks into the Guptas were doomed because she believed that the investigative unit was “corrupt”.

“The Hawks say they will investigate the Guptas, but it is compromised by [Brigadier Berning] Ntlemeza, who is at the helm of the unit. The Hawks believe their role is to serve the president and not the interests of the country,” Mentor claimed.

Interest groups have asked the court for an interdict pending the conclusion of a review into Ntlemeza’s fitness to hold office.

Lieutenant Robert Netshiunda, Hawks spokesperson, said the case was with the unit and that he could not comment any more.

Mentor believed it would also be difficult for the Public Protector to conduct the investigation because her term was coming to an end in August and her office did not have the financial capacity. She added that, should Thuli Madonsela approach international donors for funding, she would be accused of “playing into foreign interests”.

Mentor pointed out that she had asked in December that the ANC organise a “second Morogoro” conference. The main task of the ANC’s 1969 national consultative conference that was convened in Morogoro was to make changes to its organisational structure at a time when the party had experienced many internal problems.

She was reluctant to comment on the ANC processes announced by Mantashe, or whether she would participate, saying she would not discuss them in the media.

All she would say was that if a non-ANC member had information regarding “state capture”, he or she may refuse to participate in a process that was being managed by the ANC. 

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