Man­tashe sues ex-MP Vytjie Men­tor over slurs

CityPress - - News - SETUMO STONE setumo.stone@city­press.co.za

ANC sec­re­tary-gen­eral Gwede Man­tashe has launched a le­gal bat­tle to stave off al­le­ga­tions that he was an in­di­rect ben­e­fi­ciary of an Eskom ten­der con­tract.

For­mer ANC MP Vytjie Men­tor is ex­pected to be slapped with a sum­mons from Man­tashe, wherein he claims dam­ages over al­le­ga­tions that Eskom gave his wife, Nol­wan­dle, “the big­gest govern­ment cater­ing con­tract in history”.

Man­tashe has been ac­cused of us­ing her “as a front”.

“She does busi­ness in the pri­vate sec­tor; she can­not [do] busi­ness [with] govern­ment be­cause of my po­si­tion,” Man­tashe told City Press.

The in­struc­tion to serve pa­pers on Men­tor was is­sued last Tues­day, he said.

Men­tor said this week that the claims were al­ready in the pub­lic do­main, as she had published them on her Face­book page. She ex­plained she had re­ceived a call from a law firm rep­re­sent­ing Man­tashe, but re­fused to pro­vide them with her de­tails be­cause their “ap­proach did not make sense”. “They only told me Man­tashe wanted money from me,” she said. Men­tor said that she sus­pected this was re­lated to “out­stand­ing levies to the ANC” dur­ing her ten­ure in Par­lia­ment. Last Fri­day, Men­tor wrote on her Face­book page: “Gwede seems not to know me too well. I will take him to the dry cleaner’s and back. I don’t play with bul­lies like him. I chew them to pieces and spit them out vo­cif­er­ously.” Ac­cord­ing to news­pa­per re­ports, in 2014, Eskom awarded a five-year cater­ing con­tract worth R639 mil­lion to a Bid­vest-linked com­pany where Man­tashe’s wife is a di­rec­tor. The bal­ance of the con­tract was re­port­edly awarded to an­other com­pany, tak­ing the to­tal value of the two con­tracts to R1.4 bil­lion. City Press had pre­vi­ously seen an SMS do­ing the rounds in ANC cir­cles, con­tain­ing claims that Eskom “will fork out a stag­ger­ing R1.4 bil­lion on two five-year cater­ing con­tracts that pro­vide free meals for its work­force [at] Medupi in Lim­popo and Kusile in Mpumalanga”. In­sid­ers at the State Se­cu­rity Agency al­leged that Man­tashe had a close re­la­tion­ship with sus­pended for­mer Eskom act­ing chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer (CEO) Mat­shela Koko. It was also al­leged that the util­ity’s dis­graced for­mer CEO, Brian Molefe, was re­cently yanked from Par­lia­ment back to Eskom in a bid to side­line Koko and un­der­mine Man­tashe. How­ever, Man­tashe said last week that he did not know Koko and that “the things that were be­ing said” about his wife on so­cial me­dia “did not ex­ist”. He in­sisted Men­tor had to own up to her mis­takes. “She must ex­plain and we must stop play­ing.”

GWEDE MAN­TASHE

VYTJIE MEN­TOR

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