| #StateCaptureInquiry: Mentor breaks down over fears for her safety

Former ANC MP Vytjie Mentor broke down at the end of day five of the inquiry into state capture, telling the commission she feared for her safety at the hotel where she is currently staying.

“I don‘t want to sound alarmist,” Mentor told chairperson of the commission Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo as broke down in tears.

She said two nights ago when she went to sleep she discovered that the latch of her hotel room door was not working.

“I had stayed in that room ever since I have been coming for business of the commission,” she said, adding that “the commission has gone out of the way to make me comfortable in terms of my condition that I discussed with them.

“I‘m worried to go back to a hotel room that I don‘t know if it has been fiddled with,” Mentor said and then broke into tears again. 

Justice Zondo reassured Mentor that the commission would do everything in its power to ensure that she is safe and asked head of the commission‘s legal team advocate Paul Pretorius to look into the matter.

‘You are right to be concerned‘

Zondo said Mentor was right to be worried about her safety.

“Your evidence implicates various people. For all we know they might come here and refute your claims. You are concerned about your safety and you are right to be concerned,” Zondo said.

The commission is investigating fraud and corruption and allegations of undue influence by the Guptas on the Zuma administration.


Mentor spent two days detailing her encounter with the Gupta family, former president Jacob Zuma and the Hawks.

Earlier during her testimony on Tuesday, Mentor told the commission that after opening a case against “highly placed” individuals including Zuma, his son Duduzane Zuma and ministers, she was worried that her case would be swept under the carpet. 

She said the case was opened in 2016 at the Durbanville police station, however, she requested that senior police take her statement at her home. 

Statement allegedly flown by jet from Cape Town to Pretoria

She said it took over 13 hours for her statement to be completed. 

Mentor said the police later gave her a typed version of her statement, which she said was “inconsistent and corrupted” her original statement. 

She testified that she was informed that Hawks boss Berning Ntlemeza had given instructions that a private jet fly her statement from Cape Town to Pretoria. 


She told the commission that it took her more than two years to access the original handwritten statement. She only accessed it on Monday night, after the commission requested it from the Hawks. 

She claimed that Hawks advocate Mandla Mtolo had told her that the case would not go ahead if she did not edit out allegations that Zuma had a “corrupt relationship with the Guptas”. 

Mentor is the second witness to accuse the Hawks of trying to squash the case involving Zuma and the Guptas. 

Claims of prepared false draft statement

On Friday, former deputy minister Mcebisi Jonas told the commission that the Hawks tried to “kill” the case by preparing a statement contradicting his previous media statement that he was offered R600m if he took the job of finance minister in 2015.

Jonas said he was ed by Ntlemeza, who assigned Major General Zinhle Mnonopi – the head of serious corruption investigation – to the state capture case opened by political parties, the DA and Cope.

“Mnonopi said this was a DA matter and that I did not want to help the DA and they want to kill the matter,” Jonas testified at the time. 

He said Mnonopi wanted him to sign a prepared false draft statement to say that he was not a witness to corruption, but he was not willing to do so.

The commission resumes on Wednesday with Mentor expected to conclude her testimony. She will be followed by former Government Communication and Information System boss Themba Maseko.