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By Citizen Reporter


Babita Deokaran murder: Cele to go after ‘pay masters’ for the hit

Babita Deokaran was gunned down on Monday morning outside her complex in Johannesburg.

Police Minister Bheki Cele says the suspects behind the murder of a senior finance official at the Gauteng health department, Babita Deokaran, are hitmen, with investigations already under way.

Addressing the media on Friday, Cele indicated the police were looking to find the masterminds who had initiated the hit on Deokaran.

“I’m told by the police that this is just the beginning; they are still gonna go very far with the matter. As I have said, those who are arrested are regarded as hitmen, which means we have to find the bosses, the pay masters.

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

“Maybe it’s enough to say so without identifying [them], but we believe that when this work is done it will tell us a good story,” the minister said.

Cele was speaking outside the home of a female police officer, identified as Sergeant Sharon Mogale, who was gunned down on Thursday when she and her partner were attacked and disarmed by unknown suspects while inside a retail store in Tembisa.

The minister’s comments came after seven suspects were arrested on Friday in connection with Deokaran’s murder.

Deokaran was gunned down on Monday morning outside her complex in Mondeor, south of Johannesburg, shortly after dropping off her child at school. 

The 53-year-old later died in hospital.

She was among the Special Investigating Unit’s (SIU’s) witnesses into its investigations into contentious multimillion-rand personal protective equipment tenders in Gauteng.

Police spokesperson Colonel Brenda Muridili said the suspects were arrested on Thursday during a police operation at the suspects’ hideouts in Johannesburg.

During their arrests, police recovered two firearms and two vehicles.

ALSO READ: Was Gauteng health official murdered to shield ‘crooked people’?

Muridili said police made the breakthrough in the case after they received information from Crime Intelligence. The suspects are expected to appear in court soon.

A case of murder was registered at the Mondeor Police Station and transferred to the provincial head office for investigation by the SAPS’s serious and violent crimes unit.

“The case docket has been transferred to the Directorate for Priority Crimes Investigation [Hawks] for further investigation. There is a possibility of more charges being added to the charge of murder when the suspects appear in court soon.”

Additional reporting by Thapelo Lekabe

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