Hefer finally lets journalist off the hook
Former judge Joos Hefer announced on Friday that he has decided not to call journalist Ranjeni Munusamy to testify on spy claims against National Director of Public Prosecutions Bulelani Ngcuka.
Munusamy was the main author of the first newspaper report in which the allegations against Ngcuka surfaced.
However, she has refused up till now to testify before the Hefer commission and is currently in a drawn-out process of appealing against his ruling that she must.
Hefer said in a statement on Friday that he had already received most of the evidence tending to support the allegations against Ngcuka.
“It is quite clear that Ms Munusamy’s evidence will be of peripheral value only,” he stated.
Hefer said Munusamy’s intended appeals against his ruling could go as far as the Supreme Court of Appeal and the Constitutional Court. This would inevitably delay the commission’s proceedings indefinitely if he were to insist on her testimony.
“The question now is whether such a delay is really worthwhile,” the judge said.
“I have decided that it is not.”
Munusamy earlier claimed that she consulted about 15 sources for the story on Ngcuka. Ngcuka’s main accusers—Mo Shaik and Mac Maharaj—as well as former security policemen Gideon Nieuwoudt and Bernie Ley have since been revealed as among them. The rest have not been disclosed.
Hefer adjourned the commission’s public hearings until Monday, when Ley is to testify. Nieuwoudt will follow on Tuesday, with Ngcuka’s testimony to be heard from Wednesday.
Hefer earlier indicated that he wanted to wrap up his public hearings by next Friday.—Sapa