Butt kicks back at Mentor’s ‘crook’ allegations
Corruption buster Vytjie Mentor is ready to face a R5m defamation lawsuit from friend of Malusi Gigaba
Former MP Vytjie Mentor is facing a R5-million defamation lawsuit by a Pakistani businessman she labelled a “crook that entered our country illegally and operates just like the Guptas“.
Imran Butt, through his lawyers at BDK Attorneys, has demanded that Mentor stop her social media onslaught against him, where she alleges, among other things, that he is in the country illegally and sells South African citizenships to other illegal immigrants.
Mentor — a fierce anti-corruption fighter — said Butt and his lawyers should “go and jump”.
“They think they can intimidate me. They belong in hell. We can meet in court. I am running a campaign to save our country from crooks like him.”
On March 2 Mentor fired her first salvo with a Facebook post and images of Butt’s Instagram account, claiming that he was receiving protection from high-profile ANC politicians.The images include photographs of Butt posing with several government ministers, including Malusi Gigaba [Home Affairs] and Bheki Cele [Police] at the ANC’s December 2017 Elective conference in East London, Eastern Cape.
“Your actions constitute harassment of our client … Your conduct conforms with the definition of defamation … and falls within the definition of crimen injuria …” the lawyer’s letter reads.
In another Facebook post, Mentor questions Butt’s marriage under Islamic law to his South African wife, threatening to reveal their identity numbers.
Mentor said on Wednesday that she began following Butt while preparing for the state capture inquiry and her investigation into Gigaba and his wife.
“The Gigabas live large on social media. It was while following them that Butt’s name kept popping up. I began looking into the controversies around him and found a minefield.“He has been arrested but the arrests never went anywhere. Why? He is connected to senior ANC and government officials.
“Nothing I have written has been fabricated and I will continue writing on him.”
Butt yesterday said it was not a crime to associate with people and take photographs with them.
“Where is the crime? I know them, but it doesn’t mean that they know me either personally or otherwise.
In her Facebook post, Mentor questioned Butt’s marriage under Islamic law to his South African wife and claims in several posts that he is a criminal, is in the country illegally, sells South African citizenships to other illegal immigrants.
The lawyer’s letter warns her to stop the disinformation campaign against their client’s citizenship status.
“Our client came to South Africa in 2001 from Pakistan and was allowed into the country as an asylum seeker.
At a later stage he obtained temporary residency and still later permanent residency and eventually was lawfully awarded citizenship of the Republic of South Africa.
“The lawfulness of our client's status as a citizen of the Republic of South Africa has been scrutinised by the Department of Home Affairs on a number of occasions and found to be perfectly legal.”Butt, according to the lawyers, is a consultant to the international business community.
“You have seriously infringed on his right to economic activity by making these false allegations against him.
“Furthermore, our client assists the law enforcement agencies in identifying corrupt officers and criminality in general.”
Butt’s lawyers warn Mentor that should she continue with her social media campaign he will apply for an interdict.
He wants Mentor to immediately desist with her social media posts and has demanded R5-million be paid by March 20 and that she publicly apologises and withdraws her remarks.Mentor has been given a March 16 deadline, failing which they will lay criminal charges.
Said Butt: “I have helped to expose corrupt cops and take down high-flying criminals. I believe that this comes from a move recently by an immigration businesswoman to try and entrap me, which I believe is part of a larger underworld operation against me.
“She must show proof for just one of her claims. She must be very careful in what she is doing which is illegal. I have done nothing wrong. I am 110% clean.”
The controversial former ANC MP made headlines in 2016 when she claimed the controversial Gupta family offered her the position of Public Enterprises minister after the former minister, Barbara Hogan, was axed. Her claim was made at the time that allegations of the Guptas offering several cabinet posts – which are to be the subject of the state capture inquiry – began to surface.
In 2017 she claimed former president Jacob Zuma made sexual advances to her.