Citizen Reporter
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2 minute read
30 Aug 2021
9:12 am

Babita Deokaran murder: Seven suspects due in court today

Citizen Reporter

The suspects face charges of murder and possession of an unlicensed firearm and ammunition.

Slain Gauteng senior finance official Babita Deokaran. Picture: Facebook

Seven suspects arrested in connection with the murder of Babita Deokaran, a senior finance official at the Gauteng health department, on Monday are expected to appear in the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court.

ALSO READ: Ramaphosa: Babita Deokaran ‘was a hero and a patriot’

The suspects face charges of murder and possession of an unlicensed firearm and ammunition.

They were arrested last Thursday during a police operation at their hideouts in Johannesburg. During their arrests, police recovered two firearms and two vehicles.

ALSO READ: Babita Deokaran: Hitmen allegedly paid R2.8 million to kill Gauteng whistleblower

Deokaran, 53, was a whistleblower and among the Special Investigating Unit’s (SIU’s) witnesses into its investigations into contentious multimillion-rand personal protective equipment (PPE) tenders in Gauteng.

She was gunned down last Monday in Mondeor, south of Johannesburg, shortly after dropping off her child at school. She later died in hospital.

Startling allegations have since emerged surrounding Deokaran’s murder. It is alleged the hitmen were each paid a sum of R400,000, R2.8 million in total, to kill her.

Family spokesperson and brother-in-law Tony Haripersadh last week said the murder showed the lengths some people were willing to go in order to silence Deokaran.

“If you look at the manner in which the payments were made… that is a lot of money and it shows the extent to which they wanted to get her out at all cost,” Haripersadh said.

Death threats

Haripersadh said Deokaran had not made the family aware of any death threats as she did not want to worry them.

He said at some point she was suspended from work for a period of six months without the family knowing.

“Little did we know she was suspended for six months and she kept this away from the family because she did not want to let us feel her pain, but after she was reinstated.

READ MORE: Babita Deokaran murder: Protection for whistleblowers vital, says Dlodlo

“In one of the family chat groups where we share information, she revealed that she had been suspended for six months because she refused to toe the line and get involved in corruption,” Haripersadh said.

Deokaran’s funeral was held in KwaZulu-Natal last Thursday.

Additional reporting by Siyanda Ndlovu