Vytjie Mentor Clashes With Mantashe Over Slurs: Everything We Know

A fresh conflict has erupted between ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe and South Africa’s most prominent whistleblower Vytjie Mentor.

Given the widespread towards enmity President Jacob Zuma, which swelled up in 2016, after he was implicated in shocking scandals like Nkandla and State Capture Report – of course, his controversial cabinet reshuffle in March 2017 – anyone who fiercely oppose him is instantly seen as the people’s hero.

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Mentor, former ANC MP is one hero that has dared Zuma and his band of merry defenders on several occasions and came out unscathed.

The former ANC MP is one fearless South African that helped in tearing Zuma’s house of cards which he took years to erect. And her boldness in taking Zuma straight from the shoulder endeared her to South Africans.

Her assertiveness and resilience date back to 2006 when she defended the rights of Nomawele Njongo, who accused then Chief Whip Mbulelo Goniwe of sexually harassing her.

At the time, 21-year-old Njongo, an administrative assistant, was taken under Mentor’s wings and in the end, Goniwe was suspended and barred from participating in politics for three years.

Mentor has never been a wallflower, according to sources close to her. And she has vowed to descend like burning coals on Gwede Mantashe if he messes up with her.

The former ANC MP made the threats after it emerged that Mantashe had sued her over allegations that he [Mantashe] benefitted indirectly from an Eskom tender contract.

In April, she alleged that a company owned by Mantashe’s wife Nolwandle was pampered with a multimillion-rand Eskom catering tender under the leadership of ‘Gupta stooges’.

Vytjie Mentor had implied that the SG benefited from the contract, as well as his deputy, Jessie Duarte – with the influence of the Gupta family.

She wrote:

“….And Jessie Duarte’s ‘enstranged’ husband does huge contracts with Eskom too, when her son is a close friend and business partner of the son another Gupta controlled woman [sic] that sits on the Eskom Board.

Gwede is a beneficiary of Gupta appointed Board members of Eskom through his wife. Why do South Africans expect him to save South Africa from the rot?”

In the wake of Mentor’s claims, Mantashe launched a legal battle against the defiant woman. Speaking to reporters, the SG denied that he benefitted from the contract, adding that his wife ‘does business in the private sector; she cannot [do] business [with] government because of my position’.

From her end, Mentor has vowed to bring Mantashe to his knees if he dares take any action against her.

Taking to Facebook, where she has an overwhelming number of followers, she wrote:

“Dear Gwede, let’s see if you will win this one. You seem not to know me too well. I will take you to the dry cleaner’s and back. I don’t play with bullies like you. I chew them to pieces and spit them out vociferously.”

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In 2014, Eskom reportedly awarded a five-year catering contract worth R639 million to a Bidvest-linked company. Mantashe’s wife is said to be a director in the company.

Everything You Need To Know

  • The instruction to serve papers on Vytjie Mentor was issued last Tuesday.
  • Mantashe is expected to slap Mentor with a summons. He claimed damages over the allegations.
  • Mantashe is a close friend of suspended former Eskom acting chief executive officer (CEO), Matshela Koko, according to some sources in the State Security Agency.
  • The SG, last week, denied that he knows Koko and that ‘the things that were being said’ about his wife on social media do not exist.
  • Mantashe’s wife is also the CEO of Tamborah Resources. In 2014, the company stated its goal was to be a ‘long-term supplier of all power station coal to the national power utility’.

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