News / South Africa

Siyanda Ndlovu
Digital Journalist
2 minute read
24 Aug 2021
6:31 pm

We will not bow down to looting gangs, says Makhura following Deokaran’s murder

Siyanda Ndlovu

Makhura said that a dedicated SAPS Provincial Task Team has been established to hunt down the perpetrators of the gruesome murder.

Slain Gauteng senior finance official Babita Deokaran. Picture: Facebook

Gauteng Premier David Makhura announced on Tuesday that his government is taking steps to protect officials who have become targets of threats, intimidation and wanton murder after the death of Babita Deokaran, a senior finance official in the Gauteng health department.

Deokaran, shot and killed on Monday, was one the Special Investigative Unit’s (SIU) witnesses in their corruption investigations involving the procurement of personal protective equipment (PPE) in the province.

“We will not be cowed down by criminal gangs who want to loot state resources,” said Makhura after a visit to Deokaran’s family accompanied by MEC for Health Nomathemba Mokgethi.

“In honour of Deokaran, we will do everything in our power to ensure that the perpetrators of corrupt tender processes and the callous killing of officials face the full might of the law.”

“We will not rest until our province is declared a corruption-free zone as well as a safe and ethical environment to live, work and do business in,” concluded Premier Makhura.

He said that the government will continue to work with the SIU and other state institutions to uncover acts of corruption and ensure that public funds looted from the state are recovered.

Makhura said that a dedicated SAPS Provincial Task Team has been established to hunt down the perpetrators of the gruesome murder.

Deokaran was appointed acting chief financial officer (CFO) in August 2020 in the aftermath of the irregular
and unlawful PPE procurement that rocked Gauteng.

ALSO READ: Murdered Gauteng health official was a witness in PPE probe, SIU confirms

During her tenure as the CFO, it is said that she uncovered corruption and stopped payments of irregular contracts in the department at different levels, including in hospitals.

She also provided crucial evidence to the disciplinary processes conducted by the office of the Premier and the SIU investigations.

“The result of her good deeds led to successful dismissals within the department and saw the institution of civil claims to recover public funds from businesses and government officials responsible for malfeasance and corruption,” the GP government said.