Publication: Sunday Argus Issued: Date: 2003-09-14 Reporter: Paddy Harper

Journalist Suspended Over Ngcuka Row



Sunday Argus

Date 2003-09-14


Paddy Harper

Web Link


The ongoing row between National Director of Public Prosecutions Bulelani Ngcuka and Deputy President Jacob Zuma has claimed another casualty - this time one of South Africa's leading political writers.

Ranjeni Munusamy, senior political writer at The Sunday Times, has been suspended and is facing disciplinary action for allegedly leaking to rival title City Press documents about an ANC intelligence investigation into claims that Bulelani Ngcuka was an apartheid-era spy.

Munusamy confirmed that she had been suspended from work "on allegations of possible misconduct".

She said while she had not been officially informed of what offence she had been charged with, she understood that it was because she was believed to be the source of the City Press story about the ANC investigation into Ngcuka.

Munusamy said The Sunday Times had "sat on" the story for five weeks and had "consistently" refused to run it. She said she was then instructed to return the documentation to her source.

Munusamy said she did not believe the reason she was given for not running the story was "justifiable" and that once the newspaper had instructed her to return the documents, it had "relinquished ownership" of them.

"Once they relinquished ownership and washed their hands of them (the documents) the source was free to do what they wanted with them," she said. Munusamy, a former spokesperson for ANC NEC member and KwaZulu-Natal Transport MEC S'bu Ndebele, said she believed the documents gave context to the "depth of hostility" between Ngcuka and Zuma.

She said she believed that a meeting between Ngcuka and seven newspaper editors had "locked" the editors into an "agreement" with Ngcuka, but that this agreement did not apply to individual journalists.

With acknowledgements to Paddy Harper and the Sunday Argus.