Vytjie talks about shock with Gupta offer

EXECUTIVE former ANC member of parliament Vytjie Mentor explained how shocked she was when one of the Gupta brothers promised her a ministerial job if she would help the family's business interests.

Mentor took the stand yesterday as the third witness of the committee of inquiry to state prison, which is currently under way in Parktown, Joburg.

The committee heard how the Gupta brothers were convinced of their power over former President Jacob Zuma, who reportedly allowed them to tell him whom to hire and fire.

Mentor said she was surprised when the eldest brother, Ajay Gupta, told her in 2010 at their Saxonwold camp that there were plans to cause fire than Minister Barbara Hogan from public companies and that she could be recommended for the job.

What strikes me most is the discussion about him who has the capacity to make me a preacher.

"The fact that he knew that when President (Zuma) wanted to rearrange at the moment that there was no idea at all in the media that I knew there would be a reshuffle.

"I asked him how this would happen that I would become a minister, saying he could say something to the president.

"When I had expressed shock (about the offer), he said & # 39; we're doing it normally & # 39 ;," Mentor said.

She said that Ajay had told her that she would have to cancel the South African Airways route between Joburg and Mumbai in India to take over a route with Gupta associated airline.

"He said they were partnering with Jet Airways to ensure that goods and cargo go ahead, he talked about the strategy of SAA's turnaround, that it did not work and that it did not produce any results," Mentor said.

Her testimony, which continues today, comes after former Deputy Minister of Finance Mcebisi Jonas told the committee that Ajay had also offered him the position of Minister of Finance.

According to Mentor, Gupta's brother also asked if she could help the family in terms of uranium deposits in the Northern Cape that they wanted to buy for the nuclear building program.

Mentor said she rejected the ministerial offer, resulting in the appointment of Minister of the Interior Malusi Gigaba to the post after Hogan was dismissed by Zuma.

"After I had rejected the offer (s), in which Minister Barbara Hogan was redistributed, as Ajay told me in Saxonwold, the minister appointed to that position was Gigaba, under his supervision the same route was canceled and Jet Airways became active on the route as was proposed to me in Saxonwold, "she said.

Lawyer Vincent Maleka revealed yesterday in the committee that those who were involved with Mentor and Jonas – including the former adviser to Lakah Kaunda of Zuma – had submitted an application to examine the two. Mentor said it was Kaunda who called her in 2010 to meet Zuma and the Guptas, accusations that Kaunda denies.

The chair of the committee, deputy chief judge Raymond Zondo, said that everyone who wanted to hear witnesses, had to be willing to take the witnesses and to undergo cross-examination themselves. Mentor continues his testimony today.

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