Citizen Reporter
3 minute read
27 Aug 2018
5:39 pm

Vytjie Mentor: I have been ridiculed and mocked before. Check if I care?

Citizen Reporter

The former MP and state capture whistleblower confused many with her nervous and often rambling testimony on Monday.

Vytjie Mentor. Picture: Twitter/@SJohannaSmit

Following hours of testimony before the commission of inquiry into state capture in Parktown, Johannesburg, on Monday, many on social media were quick to mock the former ANC MP about her performance.

ALSO READ: Mentor confirms earlier state capture allegations to judge Zondo. Or is that Zondi?

Much of the focus of her testimony was spent on attempts to clear up confusion over businessman Fana Hlongwane and ANC politician Brian Hlongwa, and in explaining her difficulty in telling the Guptas apart.

While she maintained the man with Zuma at a meeting she attended was businessman Hlongwane, it was pointed out she had previously named Hlongwa in a book she wrote.

She also detailed a meeting with Zuma and two people she could only identify as being “Indian looking”.

She continued to testify that Zuma asked her if he could introduce her to “his chairman”, whom she identified as Hlongwane.

But inquiry chair Zondo questioned why, in Mentor’s book No Holy Cows she had mentioned Hlongwa rather than Hlongwane.

Mentor answered that this was a mistake she could not explain except to say that both the businessman and ANC politician had been in the media, and that she had mixed up the surnames, mistakenly believing that Hlongwane’s name was Brian and Hlongwa’s Fana.

Her confusion over the two led Justice Zondo to warn Mentor not to call him Zondi, a comment that led to much laughter from those in attendance.

Mentor made no promises, responding, “I might.”

She was also questioned on why, in her interview with then public protector Thuli Madonsela, Mentor didn’t mention Hlongwane or Hlongwa.

Elsewhere in her testimony, Mentor said she met one of the Gupta brothers on a flight with Duduzane Zuma, and that while she initially could not tell which brother it was, she later learnt it was Rajesh.

She said she was able to later tell the brothers apart by their “level of obesity”.

“Ajay and Atul are two confusing Indian names,” she told the commission.

She later delved into the complicated method she ended up employing to tell Atul and Ajay Gupta apart.

“I had to learn their names by eventually creating a formula for myself in my mind, that says ‘There’s is Atul and there is Ajay’. I know them in my mind, I can point them out, I can separate them, I know them and their physiques and their faces, but who is who in terms of the names,” Mentor said.

“I used the issue of who is elder and who is younger, and I had to drill it into my mind to say that, in the alphabet, J comes before T, and therefore Ajay is the elder brother, and Atul is the younger brother.”

Many were also confused about the amount of time Mentor spent talking about the decor in the Guptas’ house, which appeared to be pointless detail.

For some, her nervous performance was hard to swallow.

One detail about her testimony also suggested that she had flown first class, which raised eyebrows.

At one point she used the term “recent future”, which makes no sense, and earned her further mockery.

Despite the fact that her testimony will only conclude tomorrow, Mentor was quick to take to her favourite platform, Facebook, and say that it would be up to the judge to make the final call on her testimony.

She also posted: “I have been ridiculed and mocked before. Check if I care?”