Vytjie Mentor’s memorial service to be held on Tuesday

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A memorial service will be held in Cape Town on Tuesday for the late whistle-blower and ActionSA member, Vytjie Mentor.

Mentor died at the age of 58 last week following a long illness.

She gained fame by blowing the whistle on corruption when she claimed she was offered a ministerial position sanctioned by the Gupta family.

Mentor was an ActionSA senate member and also the former Western Cape Chairperson of the party.

ActionSA President, Herman Mashaba, is expected to attend the memorial service with Mentor’s close family members.

Mentor also served as an ANC member of parliament between 2002 and 2014, leaving the governing party in 2019 to join the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) and finding her last political home in ActionSA from 2020.

Mentor was born in 1963.

The anti-apartheid activist also served as a chairperson of the portfolio committee on public enterprises from 2009 to 2010.  She is recognised to be among the first people to break ranks with the ANC, after she raises the alarm on state capture.

In several days of testimony at the State Capture Inquiry, Mentor alleged that the Guptas had offered to make her Public Enterprise Minister should she drop SAA’s route to India.

At the time she was Chairperson of the Public Enterprises Portfolio Committee. She said the offer was made while former President Jacob Zuma was in the next room of the family’s Saxonwold home. But later was criticised as evidence could not be corroborated by the commission’s evidence leaders.

“I asked him a question when he gave the offer. I asked how can I become a Minister of Public Enterprises and he said the President was about to reshuffle the cabinet and that was not in the public domain.”

After resigning as the ANC Member of Parliament, she went to join ACDP in March 2019 and her stay there did not last. A year later she moved to become a member of ActionSA, a political home until her last day.

ActionSA’s Lerato Ngobeni says Mentor had been in hospital for some time. “Vytjie has been ill for some time and this morning her family called to inform us that she has succumbed to her illness after being hospitalised for several months. It should never be forgotten that Mentor was the first to sound the alarm on what we today call state capture, she was a true patriot who served her country even in the face of criticism.”

VIDEO | Former MP Vytjie Mentor passes away: