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Ranjeni Knew a Week Ago She Was Implicated as Beneficiary of Crime Intelligence Slush Fund

By Akuba Mokoena

RANJENI MUNUSAMY, Tiso BlackStar’s associate editor was informed a week ago that senior Hawks official Kobus Roelefse would be implicating her as one of the people who had allegedly benefited unlawfully from the looting of the secret crime intelligence slush fund. A source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the State Capture Commission, where Roelefse has been testifying for the past three days, informed her prior to his testimony. It’s not clear whether she immediately informed her employer, who only released a statement yesterday following Roelefse’s testimony. In the statement, Tiso Group confirms it had begun investigations “on Wednesday as soon as the Commission notified Munusamy of these allegations”. Which Wednesday this is, is not clear. 

The Hawks official testified that a sum of R143 621 78 was paid from a Centurion-based motor dealership, Atlantis Motors, into a Wesbank finance account which was registered “under the name of Miss Ranjeni Munusamy. As far as I know, she is a journalist. The amount was debited on July 30 2008”. 

While Munusamy denied the allegations in a short statement yesterday, Roelefse this morning informed the Commission that Munusamy had known as long ago as 2014 that she was being investigated for unlawfully benefiting from the slush fund. He said he had spoken to her about three times and Munusamy had promised to speak to lawyers and return to him with her version of events but she never did. In her statement refuting the allegations, Munusamy said she was working with her lawyers to draft a response: “I deny the allegations made against me at the Zondo commission today [Wednesday]. They are baseless. I am working with my lawyers to draft a response to the allegations for the commission, with whom I am cooperating fully”.

Tiso Blackstar issued a statement yesterday stating that by mutual consent Munusamy was placed on special leave pending an internal investigation. The group said it was “unaware of any investigation involving Munusamy”. 

At the time of the debt settlement, Munusamy was working as a consultant. 

In years gone by she was referred to as the “notorious journalist” having earned the title for claiming that Bulelani Ngcuka, then  National Director of Public Prosecutions, had been investigated by the ANC for being an apartheid spy. Her allegations were proven to be unsubstantiated by evidence. The claims were that Ngcuka was a former apartheid spy who was now abusing his office to settle old scores with ANC leaders who had uncovered his hidden history many years earlier. She submitted her story to then Sunday Times Editor Mathata Tsedu who on refusing to publish, she gave the story to City Press Editor Vusi Mona, who published it under Elias Maluleke whose source was an “investigative journalist”. It emerged in several publications thereafter that the said investigative journalist was Munusamy.
 
Munusamy resigned before disciplinary measures were taken against her. As result of the report, a presidential commission under the chairmanship of Judge Hefer was instituted to establish the truth about allegations made by Munusamy. She was subpoenaed to testify before the commission, but refused, citing fear of breach of her ethical duties to confidential sources and fear of her life. At one stage she even claimed to have found a big black scorpion on her kitchen which she trapped and it was sent to a laboratory where it was discovered to be poisonous.
 
She later worked for the Friends of the Jacob Zuma website and thereafter joined Minister of Higher Education Blade Nzimande and after a fall-out with him left to join the Daily Maverick and became a vociferous critic of former President Jacob Zuma. She rejoined Tiso BlackStar in 2017. 
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