'There are various occasions in which I diverted from the script in my political life and when it was not fashionable to do so by an ANC MP.'
Former African National Congress (ANC) MP Vytjie Mentor on Monday told the state capture commission of inquiry that she did the unusual and broke ranks from her colleagues in Parliament as she worked to hold the executive accountable and uphold the constitution.
She said she supported a 20-year-old who accused an ANC chief whip of sexual harassment when it was ”not fashionable to do so”.
”I took a lot of pressure for supporting the complainant. It was proven that she was sexually harassed by the chief whip, and he had to vacate his post as a result of that,” she said.
”There are various occasions in which I diverted from the script in my political life and when it was not fashionable to do so by an ANC MP. I made it a point to abide by the constitution and for MPs, so-called back-benchers, to start holding the executive accountable…I did not shy away from my duties, I left a legacy as leader of caucus.”
Mentor, who hails from the Northern Cape and is a former chairperson of Parliament’s public enterprises’ committee, received acclaim for lifting the lid on allegations of undue influence by the Gupta family and their associates.
Mentor is expected to give full details at the commission regarding allegations she made in 2016 against former president Jacob Zuma that he was under the influence of the fugitive Gupta family, which made billions of rands from state-owned enterprises through questionable contracts. She further alleged that Zuma had twice made inappropriate sexual advances towards her, which she rejected.
She claimed the Guptas offered her the position of minister of public enterprises to replace Barbara Hogan. She was told she would become minister only if she agreed to discontinue the South African Airways flight to India.
The offer was allegedly made in 2010 at the Gupta compound while Zuma was in the next room. Mentor said after she turned down the offer and was about to leave, Zuma walked in. ”He kept saying don’t worry ntombazana, everything will be fine,” Mentor alleged.
Zuma has since vehemently denied such an encounter with her ever happened.
– African News Agency (ANA)