Mdluli paid journalist to make ‘unfavourable' CI story disappear, Zondo told

This was the evidence of Colonel Dhanajaya Naidoo at the state capture commission in Parktown on Monday.

FILE: Richard Mdluli at the Boksburg Magistrates Court, where he's been called to testify in the inquest into Oupa Ramogibe's 1999 murder. Picture: Barry Bateman/EWN

PRETORIA - Evidence has emerged which implicates former head of Crime Intelligence Richard Mdluli in paying a reporter money in order to make an unfavourable story about the unit go away.

This was the evidence of Colonel Dhanajaya Naidoo at the state capture commission in Parktown on Monday.

Naidoo's evidence is being heard via an audio link in order to protect his new identity and his whereabouts.

He entered the witness protection programme in 2011 when he spilled the beans to a Hawks investigator.

The colonel recalled a meeting with Mdluli in which he was asked to get him cash.

“General Mdluli told me he is meeting with a journalist and basically the essence of the conversation was that this journalist had information on Crime Intelligence that would be detrimental had it been published. We needed R25,000 to R35,000 to pay this journalist off.”

Naidoo spoke of a second conversation which involved the payment of journalists.

“He said Marshall needed an answer and the journalist was waiting.”

Asked by Chief Justice Raymond Zondo who Marshall was, Naidoo responded: “I was told that Marshall was ex-Crime Intelligence head, General Mulangi Mphego. The essence of that conversation was that Marshall was waiting for an answer because the journalists were waiting. General [Solly] Lazarus said 'pay.'”

Earlier, Naidoo told the commission that 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.

She was not a journalist at the time of the alleged payments and interactions with Crime Intelligence.

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 rejoined Tiso Blackstar in 2017 and is currently on special leave. She denied the allegations and said she intended to defend herself against them.