State Capture? Former ANC MP claims Guptas offered PE Minister role

Is the Gupta dam wall finally breaking down and will President Jacob Zuma follow? One can be forgiven for thinking so given the events of the past couple weeks. The latest accusation is from a former senior ANC MP and chairperson of the portfolio on Public Works, Vytjie Mentor. In a Facebook post she claimed the family offered her a ministerial post, which has been deleted, but thanks to the power of social media, and Izak du Plessis, it was captured in the tweet below. In the post Mentor suggests the President was “in another room when they offered me this in Saxonworld”. Mentor says they asked her to become Minister of Public Enterprises when Barbara Hogan got the chop, “provided that I would drop the SAA flight-route to India and give to them.” And the Presidency, as it did with the Jessie Duarte, Mcebisi Jonas case, denied any wrongdoing. They’ve just gone one further, saying the President has no recollection of Vytjie Mentor, and therefore can’t comment. The Guptas have also challenged Mentor to file an affidavit stating under oath that she was offered a ministerial position by the family. And while the jury may still be out on this incident, the pile of accusations is growing ever larger. – Stuart Lowman

By Genevieve Quintal, News24

Johannesburg – Former ANC MP Vytjie Mentor’s allegation that the Gupta’s had offered her the position of public enterprises minister a few years ago, with conditions, proves that the politically connected family has captured the state, the DA said on Tuesday.

“There is growing evidence that the Guptas are complicit with President Jacob Zuma in capturing the apparatus of state for their personal gain,” said Democratic Alliance shadow minister of public enterprises Natasha Mazzone.

“Both the Guptas and the President must provide the South African people with the answers they deserve.”

Mazzone has requested that the Gupta family appear in Parliament to answer questions.

In a post on Facebook, Mentor, wrote on Monday night: “But they had previously asked me to become Minister of Public Enterprises when Barbara Hogan got the chop, provided that I would drop the SAA flight-route to India and give to them. I refused and so I was never made a Minister. The President was in another room when they offered me this in Saxonworld.”

She was responding to another post by DA member and former Congress of the People spokesperson Johann Abrie.

His comment above the cartoon was: “The Minister of Finance did not confirm or deny the fact that the Gupta brothers approached his deputy, Mcebisi Jonas for the job as Finance Minister. For those of you able to read between the lines, this mean that deputy minister Jonas is the second person (after the Minister of Sport Fikile Mbalula) who were approached by the Guptas for a job as Minister instead of by President Zuma. It is now clear that Zuma abdicated his job of appointing Ministers to the Guptas.”

Read also: Gordhan on Gupta attempt to capture his deputy: “My silence says it all”.

Mazzone said Abrie had alerted her and the DA in Parliament to Mentor’s comment.

She said the DA had verified that the Facebook account did belong to Mentor, who was currently on holiday in Thailand.

Mazzone said the Zuma and his “cronies” were benefiting from a patronage network that only benefited the connected few.

The Gupta family, which is said to have strong ties with President Jacob Zuma, his family and other ANC leaders, has been accused of offering top ministerial jobs.

At the weekend, reports emerged that they had offered the job of finance minister to deputy minister Mcebisi Jonas, two weeks before Nene was removed and replaced with Van Rooyen.

Jonas reportedly turned down the job.

There have also been reports that Sport Minister Fikile Mbalula heard he had been appointed a minister through the Guptas. – News24

Source: http://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/there-is-proof-guptas-are-meddling-da-20160315

Zuma has ‘no recollection’ of Mentor – Presidency

By Amanda Khoza, News24

Durban – The Presidency would not be drawn on claims made by former ANC MP, Vytjie Mentor, that she had been offered a top ministerial position by the Gupta family.

“President Jacob Zuma has no recollection of Ms Mentor. He is therefore unable to comment on any alleged incident in her career,” said presidency spokesperson, Bongani Majola.

On Monday night Mentor said in a Facebook post that she had been offered a job by the family.

She wrote: “But they had previously asked me to become Minister of Public Enterprises when Barbara Hogan got the chop, provided that I would drop the SAA flight-route to India and give to them. I refused and so I was never made a Minister. The President was in another room when they offered me this in Saxonworld. [sic]”

Her post was a response to another Facebook post by DA member and former Cope spokesperson, Johann Abrie who had posted a cartoon of the presidential seal with the face of one of the Gupta brothers.

Gupta’s challenge to Mentor

Mentor, who is currently on holiday in Thailand, referred reporters in a Facebook post to Parliament for comment on the matter.

The Gupta family on Tuesday challenged Mentor to file an affidavit stating under oath that she was offered a ministerial position by the family.

The family said there had never been a meeting between them and Mentor where Mentor was offered a top job, as she had claimed.

“Facebook is not the appropriate forum to air such a complaint, and we can only assume it is an attempt to gain personal profile and media attention. We challenge Vytjie Mentor to file an affidavit,” a Gupta family spokesperson said in a statement.

Read also: Previously silent Ramaphosa opens up on Zuptas, “state capture” strategy

“South Africa has a robust constitution and a strict process governing appointment of Ministers and Deputy Ministers.

“We have every faith that if anybody tried to abuse power around appointments, they would be rebuffed by our constitution and our strong political leadership.”

The family also said because the allegations were false, publishing them would be deemed defamatory and that it would be taking legal action. – News24

Source: http://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/zuma-has-no-recollection-of-mentor-presidency-20160315

Presidency Statement

Presidency maintains no recollection of Ms Mentor

The Presidency refutes the misleading media reports stating that the former ANC MP, Ms Vytjie Mentor “accompanied” President Jacob Zuma on a state visit to China in 2010.

Such reports are an attempt to dispute the Presidency assertion that that the President has no recollection of the former MP.

Ms Mentor was definitely not part of the official delegation to the People’s Republic of China, should she have travelled to the country during the State Visit.

By stating that Ms Mentor “accompanied” President Zuma on a State Visit to China, the media gives the public an incorrect impression of a status similar to that of Ministers or Deputy Ministers who receive direct formal invitations from the President to accompany him on State Visits, and who then join him on all official engagements during the visit as members of the official delegation.

The Presidency reiterates that the President has no recollection of Ms Mentor and is not aware of the alleged incidents in her career that she has reportedly written about on social media.