‘I know nothing’: 5 times Zuma’s memory apparently failed him at #StateCaptureInquiry

Former president Jacob Zuma was adamant on his second day of testimony at the Zondo commission that he knew nothing the Gupta brothers, with whom he enjoys close ties, allegedly offering former MP Vytjie Mentor a ministerial position. 

Mentor made the allegation when she appeared before the commission in 2018. 

According to Mentor, she was summoned to the Gupta compound at Saxonwold in 2010 where one of the brothers offered her the position of minister of public enterprises, which at that time was held by Barbara Hogan, if Mentor would agree to cancel a lucrative South African Airways route between South Africa and India. She told Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo that she refused the offer.

Mentor claimed that Zuma was in the next room at the time and even spoke to her after her meeting with the Guptas. 

During the course of his testimony on Tuesday, Zuma repeatedly denied any knowledge of events which evidence leaders questioned him about.

Here are 5 key allegations Jacob Zuma denies any knowledge of:

On Vytjie Mentor refusing to meet with him during a State visit to China

"I know nothing about it," Zuma replies when questioned about a state visit to China during which Mentor says she refused a request to meet with the then-president. Mentor previously testified that she has refused to meet the then-president because she was aware of his reputation as a ladies man. She also said the Guptas assumed a prominent role during the visit.

On the Guptas offering Vytjie Mentor a ministerial post

"No, I know nothing," Zuma insisted when asked if the Guptas offered Vytjie Mentor the position of minister of public enterprises in exchange for cancelling an SAA route. 

Bumping into Mentor at the Gupta compound

"No there was nothing of that nature. I was never in some room," Zuma said when asked whether he was in the Guptas’ home when the job offer was allegedly made to Mentor.

Ajay Gupta’s call to Themba Maseko 

"I am not sure whether I should really interpret people’s mood and how they addressed one another because it is Maseko who discussed this with Mr Gupta. I think the trend is that I should be commenting on interactions I was not a part of," Zuma said when asked about a telephone call Ajay Gupta made to the then-GCIS boss to demand a meeting about government spending with The New Age.

Who made the call to fire Maseko?

"No, I never instructed the minister to do so [remove Maseko]. The minister [Collins Chabane] discuss the fact that he would like to transfer Mr Maseko… there was an issue between the two of them, I can’t remember all the details," Zuma said when questioned about the reasons for Maseko being axed from his position. Maseko has previously claimed that he was fired for refusing to bow to the Guptas’ demands.


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