Gareth Cotterell
Digital News Editor
2 minute read
1 Oct 2021
12:03 pm

Babita Deokaran murder case postponed as court’s recording system fails

Gareth Cotterell

The suspects were due to appear at the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court for their bail application.

Six suspects appear for an earlier bail application at the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court on 13 September 2021. They are on trial for the murder of whistleblower Babita Deokaran. Picture: Nigel Sibanda

The murder case of late whistleblower Babita Deokaran has been postponed to 5 October because the recording system in the court is not working.

The six suspects alleged to have been involved in the Gauteng health official’s murder will remain in custody.

The suspects were due to appear at the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court for their bail application.

Phakamani Radebe, Zitha Radebe, Nhlangano Ndlovu, Siphakanyiswa Dladla, Simphiwe Mazibuko and Sanele Mbele are facing charges of murder, attempted murder, conspiracy to commit murder and possession of an unlicensed firearm.

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

Deokaran was shot outside her home in Mondeor, south of Johannesburg, in August. She had just returned from dropping her children off at school.

The murder is suspected to be a hit as Deokaran was a key witness in the Special Investigating Unit’s (SIU’s) investigation into corruption involving a R300 million personal protective equipment (PPE) tender.

It has since been reported that the Hawks have identified a senior ANC official as a person of interest in the murder. It is alleged that this official ordered Deokaran’s murder.

ALSO READ: Babita Deokaran: Senior ANC figure allegedly linked to assassination

Death threats

Sunday Times Daily reported that Deokaran had received threatening messages between July and August. She had also received anonymous phone calls earlier in the year.

Deokaran’s brother-in-law Tony Haripersadh has questioned why she did not get protection from the state after she told colleagues about these threats.

“It is clear Babita sent messages of the threats. Someone knew [what was happening], yet she was not given protection,” he said.

“If her life was threatened, and it was brought to the attention of the people responsible and in position to have given her security, she should have received protection.”

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