'I did not benefit from any of the said funds' - journalist Ranjeni Munusamy on state capture allegations

Ranjeni Munusamy is on special leave. (Archive image)
Ranjeni Munusamy is on special leave. (Archive image)

Sunday Times associate editor Ranjeni Munusamy has rubbished the latest allegations made against her at the Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture.

Speaking to News24 on Monday, Munusamy denied allegations that she had benefited from the Crime Intelligence secret slush fund, saying they were "baseless".

On Monday, police whistleblower Dhanajaya Naidoo told the inquiry that several journalists, including Munusamy, were paid by Crime Intelligence.

But Munusamy has hit back, saying: "The allegations are baseless against me. I did not benefit from any of the said funds, but I can only respond via the commission and the documents are in the process of being filed." 

Munusamy told News24 that her attorneys were in the process of submitting her statement to the commission on Monday in response to the allegations.  

Special leave

She said they had also asked for the submissions to be made public. Munusamy has since been placed on special leave.

During his testimony before inquiry chairperson Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, Naidoo - who is currently under witness protection - alleged that journalists were used by Crime Intelligence to plant stories in the media.

READ | Journalist Ranjeni Munusamy placed on special leave after slush fund allegations made at Zondo commission

He claimed that he had knowledge of three instances where the journalists were paid. Naidoo told Zondo that Crime Intelligence took care of Munusamy's silver BMW convertible in 2008.

"In 2008, I was called by [then police crime intelligence head Mulangi] Mphego. He said he has a contact named 'Jenni', she is having problems with her vehicle and I must make contact with her. I can confirm that I met her on two or three occasions," he said. 

Naidoo said that he met with Munusamy for the first time at an Engen Garage near her home, where she handed over the keys to her vehicle.

"She knew who I was. Commissioner Mphego sent me. She handed me the keys and I took the car to New World Motors under the instruction of General [former Crime Intelligence chief financial officer Solly] Lazarus.

Senior Hawks investigator Colonel Kobus Roloefse previously revealed to the inquiry that while investigating claims of corruption between Crime Intelligence officers and Atlantis Motors, based in Centurion, he was able to uncover an amount of R143 621 78.

The amount was paid from the Atlantis Motors business account to a Wesbank vehicle finance account in the settlement agreement of the vehicle in the name of Munusamy. 

The amount was debited on July 30, 2008. He alleged that the money came from an account within the Atlantis motors account. 

He said he contacted Munusamy at least three times in 2014 about the allegations, however, he did not receive any feedback from her. 

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