It has been reported that a senior official of the African National Congress (ANC) may possibly be the alleged mastermind behind the murder of whistleblower Babita Deokaran.
According to News24, the Hawks identified the senior ANC official — who held occupied top positions within government — as “a person of interest” who allegedly ordered Deokaran’s murder.
Deokaran, who was a senior finance official at the Gauteng health department, was gunned down outside her complex in Mondeor, south of Johannesburg, shortly after dropping off her child at school on 23 August.
A white BMW stopped next to Deokaran and an occupant shot her several times, according to the police.
She later succumbed to her injuries in hospital, with her funeral being held in KwaZulu-Natal the same week.
She was among the Special Investigating Unit’s (SIU’s) witnesses concerning its investigations into contentious multimillion-rand personal protective equipment tenders in Gauteng.
While two more arrests were made on Thursday, Police Minister Bheki Cele previously revealed the suspects alleged to be behind Deokaran’s murder were hitmen.
The minister said the police were looking to find the masterminds who had ordered the hit on Deokaran.
Six men made their first appearance in the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court on Monday despite seven suspects being initially arrested in connection with the murder.
The seventh suspect could not be linked to evidence, according to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).
The suspects are facing charges of murder, attempted murder, conspiracy to commit murder and possession of an unlicensed firearm.
The charge of attempted murder relates to a domestic worker who was with Deokaran at the time of her shooting.
Gauteng Hawks spokesperson Carol Mulamu previously confirmed the witness was in a safe house.
Their case was adjourned to 13 September for a formal bail application.