The state capture commission on Monday heard how R40,000 was paid out of the Crime Intelligence secret service account allegedly for repairs to the car of Tiso Blackstar senior journalist Ranjeni Munusamy.
Munusamy’s name has featured again at the hearing, this time in the testimony of Colonel Dhanajaya Naidoo.
Naidoo, who is in the witness protection programme, has been testifying via an audio feed in order to protect his identity.
Munusamy’s name first mentioned at the commission two weeks ago after it emerged 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 is currently on special leave, denied the allegations and said she intended to defend herself against them.
When Naidoo was asked about the last time he met Munusamy, he said: “Chair, this was on a Sunday when Commissioner Mphego phoned me [but] I can’t recall the exact conversation, but in essence, the car was not starting and he asked me to make arrangements to have it sorted out. This was the only occasion I’ve been to her house. I remember going inside a house, I think, to fetch a key.”
He explained how much money in total was used to pay for repairs and new tyres for the car: “An amount of R40,000 was paid from the secret service account for the repairs to this vehicle. Initially, I was going to put in a claim for the repairs and General [Solly] Lazarus said I should not.”
Munusamy was not a journalist at the time but was working as a communications consultant.