ActionSA National Spokesperson Lerato Ngobeni says the memory of the party’s Western Cape chairwoman, 58-year-old Vitzi Mentor, who died early yesterday, cannot be reduced to a moment of weakness during her testimony at the state capture commission.
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Ngobeni said the party was not fazed by what people were saying in the media and social media about Mentor as many accused her of lying to the state commission of inquiry.
“We are very proud of Vytjie’s mum,” she said. “She was a very sober person, a very strong person, and we’re proud of the work she did in her lifetime. “We found her to be a trustworthy person, a person of integrity who loved her country and gave her life to serve the country,” she said.
“We’ve all had our moments of weakness,” she said, referring to Mentor’s testimony to the state’s capture commission of inquiry, “and if it was hers, so be it.” “For now, we are just looking to pay our respects to her and make sure her legacy is not forgotten as we support her family at this terrible time.”
The Commission found Mentor to be an unreliable witness. Ngobeni said that until one was ridiculed and put his life on the line to do what was right, people criticizing Mentor spoke like out of control critics.
After her death, “Mam Vytjie” rises above “her moment of weakness”. “There will always be people who like you, people who respect your work, and then they will criticize you or criticize you.
We will not condone or entertain violence and violence against her memory, [nor] people who just want to spread toxicity.”
Defend Our Democracy communications officer Duduetsang Mmeti paid tribute to Mentor: “To say she lied is one thing, but we also have to recognize that she has made a huge contribution to reporting and exposing state capture and corruption, which cannot be dismissed.”
The teacher exposed how the Guptas were taking over the country.
“She let us know exactly what happened, as we’re seeing now with other revelations and testimony made at the state seizure commission.”
Mmethi said Mentor’s death comes as the organization marks a year since the death of whistleblower Babita Deakaran.
Mmethi said they saw how those who wanted to report corruption did not feel safe because some were harassed or – as in the case of Deakaran and many other whistleblowers – were killed.
“In particular, we call on the government to enact legislation and policies that protect whistleblowers.”
Ngobeni said Mentor had been with the party since its early stages and was the chairman and also served in the senate.
“The party is deeply saddened by her death. “A couple of months ago, we announced that she would be stepping down from her duties due to illness.
“It’s been a long time, but we were hoping she would make a full recovery and get back into the flow of things. But, unfortunately, this did not happen,” she said.
“During her tenure as chairman, we opened many branches in the Western Cape. Our prospects in the Western Cape now look very good.
“It is difficult to even talk about our political progress in the Western Cape when we are mourning her death.”
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