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Secret witness: My ex-boss ordered Ranjeni Munusamy be assisted financially

Colonel Dhanajaya Naidoo said he knows of four instances where journalists were either paid to make a story go away or where the unit paid journalists.

Former Crime Intelligence member Colonel Dhanajaya Naidoo, who is in the witness protection programme, is testifying via an audio link at the state capture commission. Picture: YouTube screengrab.

JOHANNESBURG - A Crime Intelligence officer in witness protection has told the state capture commission that journalists were allegedly paid and stories planted in order to create a favourable view of the unit.

Further details have emerged of Tiso Blackstar senior journalist Ranjeni Munusamy’s alleged links to Crime Intelligence, with Colonel Dhanajaya Naidoo claiming the unit’s former head Mulangi Mphego instructed she be helped financially.

Naidoo continues his testimony in camera at the state capture commission via an audio link on Monday in order to protect his identity. He began on Friday.

The colonel entered the witness protection programme in 2011 and has taken on a new name and is living at an undisclosed location.

Naidoo said he knew of four instances where journalists were either paid to make a story go away or where the unit paid journalists. But, he said, he only has details about Munusamy.

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.

Naidoo then referred to a meeting where one colleague told another to "spin a story" and he was asked what he meant by this phrase.

He replied: “What I believed that meant was using journalists either to plant information through the media that would be in favour of Crime Intelligence. I have knowledge of other incidents where journalists were either paid or were in touch with Crime Intelligence people.”

The commission has heard previous testimonies on how the media was used as part of efforts to have Hawks heads Anwa Dramat and Shadrack Sibiya implicated in the so-called Zimbabwe rendition matter.

Naidoo referred to a meeting with colleagues at a pub where both generals were mentioned.

“After he held the phone to my face, obviously I couldn’t read what was on it, he said we – which I understood to be Crime Intelligence or I as an individual - should stay away from general Dramat and general Sibiya.”

Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo ordered that no information or images be published which could reveal Naidoo’s new identity or location.

WATCH LIVE: Colonel Dhanajaya Naidoo continues testimony via audio link

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