One of the persons credited with exposing the capture of South Africa’s administrative structures by controversial Indian-born Gupta brothers has died, her political party announced on Tuesday.
The opposition Action South Africa (Action SA) party said its former Western Cape provincial chairperson and state capture whistleblower Vytjie Mentor died on Tuesday morning.
According to Action SA party leader, Herman Mashaba, Mentor had been ill for some time before succumbing to heart complications.
“This morning her family called to inform us that she had died of her illness after being hospitalised for several months,” Mashaba said
Mentor was one of the first state capture whistleblowers in 2016, the party leader said, adding that she raised concerns about the alleged influence the Gupta brothers had on former President Jacob Zuma.
“It should not be forgotten that Vytjie Mentor was the first to sound the alarm on what we today call the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture,” a statement said.
Mentor was an ANC Member of Parliament from 2002 to 2014 and chaired the portfolio committee on public enterprises from 2009 to 2010.
She jumped ship to join the newly-formed Action SA in 2020 but ANC's politics weighed heavily on Mentor, Mashaba said.
He said that Mentor was crucified by the ANC for her honesty, adding that she died a broken woman.
Mashaba was full of praises for the late whistleblower, saying South Africa should appreciate her efforts to expose allegations of state capture.
“Unfortunately, Vytjie died, but she died as a proud South African who played a key role in exposing the ruling African National Congress’ corruption with the Guptas and how she was mistreated by her own party – including compromising the credibility of her submission,” said Mashaba, a former senior ANC member himself.