A Crime Intelligence witness testified that Tiso Blackstar senior journalist Ranjeni Munusamy knew who he was when he met her and took her car to be repaired.
This was the testimony of Colonel Dhanajaya Naidoo at the state capture commission of inquiry on Monday, where he testified via an audio-link to protect his identity. The colonel entered the witness protection programme in 2011 and took on a new name and was living at an undisclosed location.
Munusamy’s name was first mentioned at the commission two weeks ago after it emerged that her car was allegedly paid off using funds from the secret service account. At the time, Munusamy was not working as a journalist. In 2003, she was suspended at the Sunday Times for passing a story to the City Press on then-National Director of Public Prosecutions Bulelani Ngcuka. She resigned before disciplinary measures were instituted against her. Munusamy then worked as a communications specialist.
Munusamy, who was on special leave, denied the allegations on Monday, saying she intended to defend herself against them and cross-examine Naidoo and Hawks investigator Kobus Roelofse.
Naidoo said he was instructed by former Crime Intelligence head Mulangi Mphego to help Munusamy with her car troubles.
“It was either explained to her who I was over the phone or when I met her, that would have been obvious because she would have not given me her car or she knew who I was at that stage when I physically met her,” he said.
He said he didn’t have a clear recollection of the meetings.
“I’ve met this individual on three occasions. I can’t remember the logistics of getting there and all of them; it’s not very clear. But, what I can confirm is that I did take the vehicle from her.”