Ranjeni Munusamy applies to have sight of protected witness
Senior journalist said she did not know the name of the man who picked up her car and needs to see and identify him
Tiso Blackstar associate editor Ranjeni Munusamy wants to "have sight" of state capture inquiry witness Col Dhanajaya Naidoo as part of an application to refute claims he made against her at the state capture commission.
Failing this, she wants to see a photograph of him. This was contained in an affidavit Munusamy filed to the commission on Wednesday.
Naidoo and Hawks investigator Col Kobus Roeofse testified at the commission that Munusamy benefited from the crime intelligence “slush fund” by, among other things, having repairs to her car worth about R40,000 paid for. It was also previously claimed at the commission that the outstanding R143,000 on Munusamy’s car was paid off using the fund, which typically covers the costs of running safe houses, paying informants and so on.
She filed the document as part of a request to cross-examine Roelofse over his accusations.
Tiso Blackstar, which publishes TimesLIVE, Sunday Times and Business Day, has placed Munusamy on special leave. The issues raised at the state capture inquiry took place before she joined the group.
Naidoo was placed in witness protection and testified at the commission in camera, with a strict instruction made that no visuals of him should be provided in order to protect his identity.
In an affidavit filed on Wednesday, Munusamy said: “I wish to make it clear that I deny having been involved in any act of corruption, bribery fraud or money laundering. I deny that I knowingly received funds from state funds [or] payments from the SA police secret service account, or knowingly had my BMW 330Ci convertible repaired using SSA funds."
Speaking of an incident in which Naidoo alleges her tyres were replaced on the car — which Naidoo told the commission cost R40,000 — Munusamy said that she went to a shopping centre in 2008 or 2009 near her home and when she came out noticed that all four tyres were deflated.
She called “an acquaintance”, Lt-Gen Rayman Lalla, who she knew from covering political violence in KwaZulu-Natal in the early 1990s.
Lalla referred her incident to Gen Mulangi Mphego, who she had also previously met during her work as a journalist. Mphego assigned another general — “whose name I cannot remember” — to help.
She said in her affidavit that the man sent to assist her, who did not give his name and was an Indian male, may be Col Naidoo.
Munusamy said the man took her car away for a full assessment, because she “wanted to ensure that it had not been tampered with and was safe to drive”.
“I also knew the person has been sent as a result of my call to Gen Lalla, who I trusted,” she said.
The vehicle was returned the following day.