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#StateCaptureInquiry: Vytjie Mentor sticks to guns over Kaunda call

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Former ANC Member of Parliament Vytjie Mentor at the state capture inquiry. File photo: Nhlanhla Phillips/African News Agency (ANA).

Johannesburg – Former ANC MP Vytjie Mentor insists that she was contacted by former president Jacob Zuma's chief of staff Lakela Kaunda despite evidence to the contrary.

Mentor faced cross-examination on Tuesday afternoon from Kaunda's lawyer.

She had testified last year in August that she had received a call from Kaunda in October 2010 who invited her to fly to Joburg and meet with Zuma.

Mentor told the inquiry that she flew to Joburg from Cape Town under the impression that she was meeting with Zuma.

Evidence presented by the commission's legal team on Monday showed that South African Airways had no record of Mentor travelling around October 2010, but she insisted that she did.

Mentor said she was under the impression that she was meeting with Zuma, yet she was driven to the Guptas compound in Saxonworld where she met with Ajay Gupta.

Advocate Crowley for Kaunda, questioned Mentor on her evidence that she was contacted by Kaunda in October 2010 on a Sunday evening.

Crowley presented evidence that according to Kaunda's cellphone records, she never contacted Mentor or had any previous communication with her.

Mentor insisted that she had spoken to Kaunda and that she was suspicious of the records provided by Kaunda. She said she was surprised as the records were not obtained from the cellphone company (Vodacom) and were instead her own records.

The chairperson for the inquiry Raymond Zondo pressed Mentor on why she would question the cellphone records provided by Kaunda.

"Somebody might say you seem to have an issue with all the records and that those are the reasons I should not accept your version, how would you respond? asked Zondo

"I would say a lot of time has elapsed since I went public on blowing the whistle on state capture and my encounter at Saxonwold. I would say it is possible that length of time could have given people the opportunity to interfere with records," said Mentor.

The former MP also said she had now realised that the call from Kaunda could have happened in September and not October as she had previously testified.

Crowley questioned why she had changed her mind days before she was set to be cross-examined. Mentor denied that she tailored her evidence regarding the call days before she was to appear at the inquiry.

"We also do not have the cellphone records of Miss Kaunda for her MTN number because she had it at that time. I know there is an issue of costs but I would request that the chair call for a forensic investigation, Mentor said.

The inquiry continues.

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