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#StateCaptureInquiry @StateCaptureCom Proceedings were set to commence at 10:00 today. #VytjieMentor is seated and has been working through some papers. She is set to undergo cross examination today. The Chairperson has just entered.
@StateCaptureCom #StateCaptureInquiry Mentor has raised a pointed finger (as she repeatedly did yesterday during testimony) and has a number of points she would like to address, including an independent witness to discuss the SAA records.
@StateCaptureCom #StateCaptureInquiry "It's not clear to me why we would need anybody else to come and testify than someone from SAA itself," says Zondo in reply to Mentor. She then questions the Home Affairs records, too.
@StateCaptureCom #StateCaptureInquiry Mentor: I would like to highlight to the Chair, what came out of those proceedings, forms the basis of my question on the Home Affairs records. I am not willing to make a full concession that Ajay [sic, it was actually Atul who did not] did not travel.
@StateCaptureCom #StateCaptureInquiry Mentor says there are three events which discount her traveling in October 2010:
1. A reported apology Mentor made about not being able to meet Zuma two weeks earlier in China (she mentioned this in her original testimony).
@StateCaptureCom #StateCaptureInquiry 2. Ajay Gupta allegedly told Mentor at the Sahara offices in Midrand that the then President Jacob Zuma was late for the meeting because, he said, Zuma was having a meeting with Cosatu in Luthuli House.
@StateCaptureCom #StateCaptureInquiry 3. Mentor has asked the legal team to check if the Gupta family - in terms of the records - owned a black twin cab in 2010. "That is the vehicle they used to pick me up from the airport," she claims of a reported and unplanned meeting in 2010.
@StateCaptureCom #StateCaptureInquiry Advocate Mahlape Sello SC says that after Lakela Kaunda filed an application to cross examine #VytjieMentor, she filed papers including her cell phone records.
@StateCaptureCom #StateCaptureInquiry Zondo reprimands Sello, commands her to take responsibility for a failure to deliver certain papers. "I am not happy about this," he says. There's a pregnant pause, Sello drops her head, says she takes responsibility and apologises. He says, "Let's move on."
@StateCaptureCom #StateCaptureInquiry Mentor reads through the letter provided to the @StateCaptureCom asserting that it is most probable Mentor would have flown SAA (from Cape Town to Johannesburg return) and not Comair in 2010, as she was an MP at the time.
@StateCaptureCom #StateCaptureInquiry Sello proposes a confidential bundle on Atul Gupta's travel, his movements, four passports - and based on information from @HomeAffairsSA - be provided to the Chair. Zondo says that is in order.
@StateCaptureCom @HomeAffairsSA #StateCaptureInquiry "My question now is about confidentiality," says Zondo. He asks why Atul Gupta's travel records should be confidential. Sello begins, "Home Affairs gave us way beyond what we requested [...] Mr Atul Gupta is known to have had more than one passport."
@StateCaptureCom @HomeAffairsSA #StateCaptureInquiry "And the confidentiality arises from information that we didn't ask for from Home Affairs [...] but which you say is useful?" asks Zondo. Sello replies, "Indeed, Chair." Zondo presses further for clarity on why the confidentiality.
@StateCaptureCom @HomeAffairsSA #StateCaptureInquiry "We submit that there confidential by nature and they should not form part of the record that is not uploaded to the website," says Sello. Zondo replies: Well, I think it might that more thought may be necessary to go into how they should be handled.
@StateCaptureCom @HomeAffairsSA #StateCaptureInquiry Sello continues, "We depart from the premise that every citizen is entitled to free movement in and out of the country." Zondo asks if sensitive information cannot be redacted while still disclosing the Home Affairs documents on Atul Gupta's travel.
@StateCaptureCom @HomeAffairsSA #StateCaptureInquiry Mentor speaks on the issue of confidentiality and asks why the inquiry would need information on her phone calls up to ten days ago. Mentor has said, in essence, the inquiry shouldn't have double standards when it comes to how it approaches confidentiality.
@StateCaptureCom @HomeAffairsSA #StateCaptureInquiry "Yes they were given to her, but I can assure you they are not in any other bundle," says a seemingly annoyed Sello on the records of Mentor's phone number, over which Mentor has raised as a concern.
@StateCaptureCom @HomeAffairsSA #StateCaptureInquiry "If you give a vague brief then you get the records Ms Sello has mentioned," says Mentor. "But, Ms Mentor do you know a vague brief was given?" asks Zondo. Seems to me signs of tension between Mentor and Sello of the @StateCaptureCom.
@StateCaptureCom @HomeAffairsSA #StateCaptureInquiry Mentor now addresses Emirates records referred to yesterday. She is asking about Ajay Gupta's travel, but as I recall the Emirates records showed that there were no records of travel for Atul Gupta in the period under consideration (August to November 2010).
@StateCaptureCom @HomeAffairsSA #StateCaptureInquiry Emirates records and Home Affairs records for his four passports indicate no international travel from and to South Africa for Atul Gupta during the period under consideration. Mentor repeatedly confuses him with his brother Ajay Gupta.
@StateCaptureCom @HomeAffairsSA #StateCaptureInquiry "When we get back I really want us to move fast," says Zondo. We adjourn for tea. Sello says she has one issue to canvas with Mentor after the break.
@StateCaptureCom @HomeAffairsSA During the tea break the @MYANC's @zizikodwa spoke to #eNCA403, and provided input on the #Eskom @Eskom_SA #loadshedding yesterday. Stay tuned to @eNCA for those details.
@StateCaptureCom @HomeAffairsSA @MYANC @zizikodwa @Eskom_SA @eNCA #StateCaptureInquiry Proceedings resume. Sello has indicated that there is information on a Cosatu meeting at Luthuli House on 13 October 2010, strikes at the time. Mentor claims she was taken to Sahara's offices, then #Saxonwold (where she claims she was offered a Cabinet post).
@StateCaptureCom @HomeAffairsSA @MYANC @zizikodwa @Eskom_SA @eNCA #StateCaptureInquiry "I just want to have an idea. If you feel in your own mind in September it definitely happened," says Zondo of the #Saxonwold meeting of 2010 Mentor claims occurred. She says - for now - she thinks it was September 2010 but she won't rule out October 2010.
@StateCaptureCom @HomeAffairsSA @MYANC @zizikodwa @Eskom_SA @eNCA #StateCaptureInquiry Earlier Zondo asked, "Can you say if it was definitely in October?" Mentor said, "The two weeks after China does not put me in October. That puts me in September. And for that reason in my transcript I moved away completely from October."
@StateCaptureCom @HomeAffairsSA @MYANC @zizikodwa @Eskom_SA @eNCA "The investigators and the legal team are looking at all possible things [...] to try and make sure that there is all the material I can look at," says Zondo. He has been explaining how important testing her evidence is, why it is important to determine parliamentary meetings.
@StateCaptureCom @HomeAffairsSA @MYANC @zizikodwa @Eskom_SA @eNCA "It is therefore quite important that we should get as much information as possible that either corroborates what you say or corroborates actually the opposite. The inquiry will consider all angles," says Zondo. He's noted, if true, there are serious implications for some people.
@StateCaptureCom @HomeAffairsSA @MYANC @zizikodwa @Eskom_SA @eNCA MT: Sello highlights an incorrect statement Mentor made on Siyabonga Cwele's position in 2010, when she erroneously named him chair of a certain portfolio committee. Mentor then retorts she was going to correct that at the end. Zondo says rather deal with corrections timeously.
@StateCaptureCom @HomeAffairsSA @MYANC @zizikodwa @Eskom_SA @eNCA #StateCaptureInquiry Mentor claims, while she concedes Cwele was no longer sitting on a certain committee, she had informally disclosed that the issue of the #Guptas should be discussed by the Standing Committee on Intelligence. Zondo needles her now: was it about the offer? No.
@StateCaptureCom @HomeAffairsSA @MYANC @zizikodwa @Eskom_SA @eNCA #StateCaptureInquiry "Are you saying that somewhere between 2004 and 2008 maybe 2009 you did propose to the [intelligence committee] that the Guptas be discussed?" asks Zondo. "I think it was in 2008, Chair," says Mentor. "What did you propose should be discussed?" presses Zondo.
@StateCaptureCom @HomeAffairsSA @MYANC @zizikodwa @Eskom_SA @eNCA #StateCaptureInquiry Mentor clarifies the proposal was a general discussion of the #Gupta family. She says she thinks she may have confused making this *general* point with the *specific* reported job offer at #Saxonwold in 2010. Zondo very patiently seeks further detail.
@StateCaptureCom @HomeAffairsSA @MYANC @zizikodwa @Eskom_SA @eNCA #StateCaptureInquiry Sello reads from Dennis Bloem's statement in which he reports #VytjieMentor asked to speak with him around August 2010, he reports Mentor told him she was invited to #Saxonwold where she was offered the Public Enterprises job. "I was not invited," says Mentor
@StateCaptureCom @HomeAffairsSA @MYANC @zizikodwa @Eskom_SA @eNCA #StateCaptureInquiry Mentor's lawyer stands up and takes to the podium. He objects to Mentor only being referred to two paragraphs of Bloem's statement. "We have an objection to the manner in which the questions have been put to Ms Mentor," he says after bursting forward.
@StateCaptureCom @HomeAffairsSA @MYANC @zizikodwa @Eskom_SA @eNCA #StateCaptureInquiry Advocate Anthony Gotz suggests there are few differences between Bloem and Mentor's versions and claims that the many reported similarities have not been dealt with in "a material way" according to his allegation.
@StateCaptureCom @HomeAffairsSA @MYANC @zizikodwa @Eskom_SA @eNCA #StateCaptureInquiry An aggrieved Gotz says that Mentor's legal team has raised a number of concerns with Sello, including a perceived absence of highlighting the evidence from Emirates reporting Duduzane Zuma, Rajesh and Ajay Gupta were on a specific flight to China via Dubai.
@StateCaptureCom @HomeAffairsSA @MYANC @zizikodwa @Eskom_SA @eNCA Gotz's file lands with a smack following his interruption during Sello's leading of evidence of his client, Mentor. Zondo says, "She emphasizes that largely whatever Mr Bloem says is not something that he independently observed, it's something that he says he got from you.
@StateCaptureCom @HomeAffairsSA @MYANC @zizikodwa @Eskom_SA @eNCA #StateCaptureInquiry Mentor now raises a perception regarding the last two days, in the main, "I have dealt that all the time I have been made to feel like that my role as a witness all the way is to explain and deal with whatever does not corroborate anything."
@StateCaptureCom @HomeAffairsSA @MYANC @zizikodwa @Eskom_SA @eNCA #StateCaptureInquiry Mentor continues with her complaint, "Whatever has corroborated my evidence so far has never been put to me. I have felt that I have actually throughout the process been cross examined and cross examined on issues that seem to contradict."
@StateCaptureCom @HomeAffairsSA @MYANC @zizikodwa @Eskom_SA @eNCA #StateCaptureInquiry Mentor claims, "Nothing that corroborates my evidence has been brought forward and I think that is a disbalance." Zondo responds to explain why honing on matters of disagreement is key to the @StateCaptureCom's work.
@StateCaptureCom @HomeAffairsSA @MYANC @zizikodwa @Eskom_SA @eNCA #StateCaptureInquiry Zondo says, "We look at what may corroborate you we look at what may not corroborate you, it may be at certain times the focus might seem to be at times what might not seem to be in line [...] there might be no need to worry about what corroborates."
#StateCaptureInquiry Sello introduces Adovcate Mandla Mtolo’s statement. Sello notes Mentor provided a recording of one of her meetings with Mtolo to the @StateCaptureCom. Mentor says that her legal team asked that recording should be made available, as should the transcript.
“Let’s put this to a stop,” says Zondo. He says he is “very unhappy” about the fact that the recording Mentor made available to Mr Mabunda of the @StateCaptureCom last year was only made available to the legal team last Friday, and Zondo has called for an affidavit from Mabunda.
#StateCaptureInquiry “It will be dealt with [...] let us move on,” says Zondo. Sello apologises and says that the @StateCaptureCom has let Mentor down. Sello asks if Mentor has detected any discrepancies between the recordings and the transcriptions.
#StateCaptureInquiry Mentor says Mtolo’s recording of a meeting begins nine minutes later than her recording of the same meeting. She says Mtolo claims that in December when he met Mentor he was alone, but in both instances - she asserts - he was not alone.
#StateCaptureInquiry He makes reference to the issue of my complaint about Zuma, says Mentor, which she says she will address during cross examination by Mtolo’s counsel. Sello then returns to the in loco inspection, and a question from Mentor on where Duduzane Zuma lived.
#StateCaptureInquiry Sello reports Mentor claimed Zuma told her that Duduzane Zuma lived “next door” when they spoke, claims Mentor, during the reported #Saxonwold meeting of 2010 during which Mentor claims she was offered a Cabinet post.
Mentor says, “It is not an important issue, Chair.” Zondo now alerts the legal team that they should inform the Gupta’s counsel, Advocate Mike Hellens SC, that Zondo is disinclined to admit the video recording of the in loco inspection from the Gupta’s videographer.
#StateCaptureInquiry Zondo wants argument from Hellens on whether or not Hellens is permitted to represent the #Guptas at this point before the @StateCaptureCom in light of a certain rule.
[SUMMARISED] #StateCaptureInquiry Zondo to Advocate Paul Pretorius on what to convey to Hellens: I am now asking you to convey to him that if he persists in that request he must address if he is permitted to represent the #Guptas at this stage.
#StateCaptureInquiry Proceedings resume at 14:45 when cross examination is finally set to commence. It is - on my assessment - fair to say that #VytjieMentor is by far the @StateCaptureCom’s weakest witness to date.
@StateCaptureCom #StateCaptureInquiry Advocate Henry Cowley SC for Lakela Kaunda now takes the stand. He will cross examine #VytjieMentor now. He refers to Mentor's assertions about Kaunda, who she claims called her in 2010 about meeting with Zuma.
@StateCaptureCom #StateCaptureInquiry "I would like you to bring your attention to the month of October, it would not be correct," says Mentor. "Yes, I have heard your evidence," says Cowley. He asks if Mentor persists with the evidence pertaining to Kaunda.
@StateCaptureCom #StateCaptureInquiry "And that it was Ms Kaunda?" says Cowley. "Yes," says Mentor. He refers Mentor to a transcript of her testimony in 2018 @StateCaptureCom. Cowley notes Mentor stated she never met Kaunda in person, but claims they spoke over the phone.
@StateCaptureCom #StateCaptureInquiry "Before the night Ms Kaunda called me we had exchanged SMS," says Mentor. She later adds, "I had never written [a letter] to Ms Kaunda per se. I had written to the Presidency."
@StateCaptureCom Cowley refers to a transcription of #VytjieMentor's interview with @PublicProtector. In it Mentor reports Jessie Duarte recommended she liaise with Kaunda. "I got Ms Kaunda's number from Jessie Duarte [...] it might have been at Luthuli House. I definitely got it from Jessie."
@StateCaptureCom @PublicProtector #StateCaptureInquiry "You say here that even before you managed to call her, Ms Kaunda had phoned you. No mention of any SMSes no mention [...] on any phone calls," says Cowley. "There are three versions of how you communicated with Ms Kaunda," he adds.
@StateCaptureCom @PublicProtector #StateCaptureInquiry Cowley asks why Mentor did not mention to the Public Protector the SMS communication between Mentor and Kaunda prior to the call.
@StateCaptureCom @PublicProtector #StateCaptureInquiry Mentor says that the form of communication prior to the call was via SMS. "She never called you and you never called her prior to that Sunday?" asks Zondo.
@StateCaptureCom @PublicProtector #StateCaptureInquiry Cowley says that Kaunda considered Mentor's evidence and obtained records for her official phone, along with records for Vytjie Mentor's numbers. "I cannot attest to their veracity," says Mentor of certain records.
@StateCaptureCom @PublicProtector #StateCaptureInquiry Zondo suggests for present purposes the records are from the service provider. Then, what is Mentor's reply? "In your own mind are you quite clear that Ms Kaunda did call you?" says Zondo. "I am very clear that Ms Kaunda spoke to me that night, Chair."
@StateCaptureCom @PublicProtector #StateCaptureInquiry Cowley refers again to Mentor's submissions to the @PublicProtector (PP) on the date of the reported call allegedly from Kaunda about arranging the meeting with Zuma, which Mentor told the PP was the week before the Cabinet reshuffle of 31 October 2010.
@StateCaptureCom @PublicProtector #StateCaptureInquiry Cowley accused Mentor of moving away from the October date for the reported call she claims was made by Kaunda, in light of the cell phone records Kaunda supplied. Mentor, in essence, rejects this allegation that she is tailoring her evidence.
@StateCaptureCom @PublicProtector #StateCaptureInquiry "A lot of time had also lapsed before this Commission could see the light of day and I would say that it is possible that that length of time had given people time to interfere with records," says Mentor.
@StateCaptureCom @PublicProtector #StateCaptureInquiry Zondo has put it to Mentor that it could be argued documents disprove her version, and that there is so little to go on that some may suggest there was no meeting at #Saxonwold whatsoever. For every document, it could be argued, she seems to have an excuse.
@StateCaptureCom @PublicProtector #StateCaptureInquiry Mentor is adamant it was Kaunda who called her on a Sunday evening about meeting Zuma on a Monday in Johannesburg in 2010. Zondo has highlighted it is *very important* if Mentor concedes or not it could have been someone else.
@StateCaptureCom @PublicProtector #StateCaptureInquiry Advocate Vincent Siwela is now cross examining Mentor on behalf of Advocate Mandla Mtolo, who Mentor claims was involved in "deliberations" to have her omit Zuma's name from her statement.
@StateCaptureCom @PublicProtector #StateCaptureInquiry Mentor says the discussion (or "deliberation" rather) with Mtolo included omitting Zuma's name but other aspects of the Hawks investigation, too.
@StateCaptureCom @PublicProtector #StateCaptureInquiry "You subsequently agreed to remove the name. So you agreed to remove the name?" says Siwela. Mentor says that Mtolo indicated the Hawks' hands were tied, she had tied them, as long as Zuma's name appeared in the complaint.
@StateCaptureCom @PublicProtector #StateCaptureInquiry "You were conniving with Mtolo to commit an offense," suggests Siwela. Mentor replies, "I was going to reinstate the charge against President Zuma."
@StateCaptureCom @PublicProtector #stateCaptureInquiry "I maintain that Mr Mtolo made that [...] assertion to me when he entered my house," says Mentor. Through counsel Mtolo's assertion is that he never made that suggestion, never said those things.
@StateCaptureCom @PublicProtector #StateCaptureInquiry "Why didn't you open a case against him for defeating the ends of justice?" says Siwela for Mtolo. He asserts Mtolo never said those things, Mentor's assertion that he did so is false and malicious.
@StateCaptureCom @PublicProtector #StateCaptureInquiry Siwela refers to what has been deemed "the corrupted statement" and asks, "Corrupted by who?" She replies, "The Hawks." Siwela then highlights Mentor's handwriting on the document.
@StateCaptureCom @PublicProtector #StateCaptureInquiry "Just because the transcript may reflect that only two people spoke doesn't necessarily mean that only two people were at the meeting," says Zondo, highlighting that a person could be present, remain silents, and thus not be reflected on a transcript.
@StateCaptureCom @PublicProtector #StateCaptureInquiry Siwela concludes. Sello says she has no matters for re-examination but highlights that Zondo has the transcripts of meetings but not the audio recordings. It's suggested those should be submitted.
@StateCaptureCom @PublicProtector #StateCaptureInquiry Gotz for Mentor now stands. Zondo has granted Gotz five minutes to address some issues relating to her testimony. He begins with a point raised by Cowley on the date of the alleged call from Kaunda of the Presidency.
@StateCaptureCom @PublicProtector Gotz asks if Mentor has seen cell phone records for Kaunda for September 2010 on one number. Mentor says she has not, they've requested that. She adds that Kaunda had an 083 number and her legal team asked for the records for that number. They were given details of an MTN number.
@StateCaptureCom @PublicProtector #StateCaptureInquiry Gotz concludes. Mentor highlights that the important part of what she claims Mtolo asked her to omit on Zuma was Mentor's assertion that there was - in her view - an allegedly corrupt relationship between the Guptas, Duduzane Zuma and the Former President.
@StateCaptureCom @PublicProtector #StateCaptureInquiry Siwela stands again with a grievance regarding papers. He claims the distribution of certain documents has been "shambolic" and next accuses Sello of seeming "flabbergasted" about an absent recording whereas the transcripts are available.
@StateCaptureCom @PublicProtector [SUMMARISED] #StateCaptureInquiry Mentor: It has been a difficult process but I am happy to play a role as a whistleblower. I wish you [Zondo] and your team and your proceedings luck. I thank you very much chair, much as I have been aggrieved. I think this is a very good process.
@StateCaptureCom @PublicProtector #StateCaptureInquiry Zondo says at the end of the process he will have to decide which evidence to accept and reject, but for the very fact of coming forward he thanks Vytjie Mentor, he agrees with her on encouraging others to come forward.
@StateCaptureCom @PublicProtector #StateCaptureInquiry @StateCaptureCom is not sitting tomorrow, says Zondo, but will sit on Thursday and could - says Zondo - start early in order to schedule testimony from Dennis Bloem and two experts who attended the in loco inspection.
@StateCaptureCom @PublicProtector #stateCaptureInquiry Zondo announces
Thursday's session begin at 09:30 with Bloem's evidence, followed by that of the expert(s) who attended the in loco inspection in #Saxonwold. He adjourns.
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