Tuesday 19 February 2019
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iol - 8 days ago

#StateCaptureInquiry: Vytjie Mentor apologises to Hlongwane for false statement

Johannesburg - Vytjie Mentor has formerly retracted her evidence regarding businessman Fana Hlongwane. On Monday, Mentor returned to the state capture inquiry to finish off her evidence which she began providing to the commission in August last year. Mentor testified at the commission in August that when she was on an Emirates flight to Dubai in 2010, Duduzane introduced her to a man he referred to as chairman. She identified the man as Hlongwane. However, in November last year, Mentor backtracked on her testimony and her lawyers wrote to the commission and said after Mentor testified she decided to view images of Hlongwane online and it s then that she realised that she had made a mistake and that he was not the man she was introduced to on the flight. However, Mentor insisted that she stands by her testimony that she was introduced to a man on the flight by Zuma. She apologised to the commission and to Hlongwane on Monday and said she was pleased that Hlongwane had accepted her apology. The former ANC MP faced tough questions during Monday s session with the evidence leader for the commission Advocate Mahlape Sello asked her about discrepancies with the evidence she had provided and information the legal team was able to obtain. Mentor had told the commission that she met Atul Gupta during a government visit to China in August 2010. However, Advocate Sello told Mentor that through the evidence obtained from the Department of Home Affairs and the Department of Trade and Industries Atul Gupta had neither travelled to China and was not on the government s list of visitors to China. Mentor questioned whether the commission had investigated the possibility that Atul had four passports and that he could have used them during his travels and exited the country unnoticed. Sello said that possibility was investigated by the commission and the outcome was the same. She was also questioned on her return flight where she said she had left days earlier from the government visit. Another question regarded to Mentor travelling to Joburg to meet with former president Jacob Zuma. She told the commission that she took a South African Airways flight to Joburg, but the commission s investigators were unable to get records proving her travels. Mentor insisted that she took the flight to Joburg and said the discrepancy was probably on SAA s behalf. The inquiry continues. IOL

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