Babita Deokaran suspects killer

Babita Deokaran health official.
Image via: Facebook

Babita Deokaran murder suspects: FIVE things to know after their court appearance

Several suspects appeared in the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court on Monday for the brutal murder of Babita Deokaran. Here’s what you need to know.

Babita Deokaran suspects killer

Babita Deokaran health official.
Image via: Facebook

The Babita Deokaran murder case officially kicked off on Monday 30 August and while the suspects made a brief appearance, there are a few details to be aware of. Firstly, the suspects can now be named and secondly, the number of suspects has dropped from seven to six. 

Babita Deokaran was gunned down outside her Johannesburg home last week shortly after dropping her child at school. The Gauteng Health official, who was also a Special Investigating Unit (SIU) witness in the procurement of personal protective equipment (PPE), later succumbed to her injuries in hospital. Shortly after her funeral, seven suspects were arrested but that’s not how many suspects appeared in court on Monday.

BABITA DEOKARAN MURDER SUSPECTS APPEAR IN COURT….FIVE THINGS TO KNOW

According to National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson in Gauteng, Phindi Mjonondwane, there are five things to know;

  1. There are no longer seven suspects in the Babita Deokaran murder case. There are now six suspects as there was no evidence linking one of them to the murder; 
  2. The six suspects have been named as follows; Phakamani Hadebe, Zitha Hadebe, Nhlangano Ndlovu, Sanele Mbele, Simphiwe Mazibuko and Phakanyiswa Dladla; 
  3. All six suspects face charges of; murder, attempted murder, conspiracy to commit murder and possession of unlicensed firearms and ammunition; 
  4. All six suspects appeared in the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court on Monday around noon and are expected to apply for bail at their next court appearance; and
  5. The Babita Deokaran murder case will resume on Monday 13 September 2021.  

RAMAPHOSA PAYS TRIBUTE TO THE LATE GAUTENG HEALTH OFFICIAL

President Cyril Ramaphosa, in his weekly newsletter on Monday morning, praised Babita Deokaran for acting as a guardian of democracy and volunteering to become a witness in the fight against corruption. 

“The murder of Babita Deokaran, a senior finance official in the Gauteng health department, is a stark reminder of the high stakes involved in our collective quest to remove this cancer from our society,” he said. 

“Regardless of the circumstances behind this tragedy, Ms Deokaran was a hero and a patriot. As are the legions of whistleblowers who, at great risk to themselves, help to unearth instances of misdeeds, maladministration, cronyism and theft,” he added. 

Ramaphosa said that as the fight against corruption gathers momentum, we need to urgently review our current approach not only to witness protection but also to the broader protection of whistleblowers.

“While numerous systems are in place to enable whistleblowers to report anonymously, we need to tighten up existing systems and provide greater support to those who publicly come forward with information,” he said.