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Whistleblower Babita Deokaran’s alleged killers due in court

The six men accused of killing whistleblower Babita Deokaran, on Wednesday, are due to appear in the Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg.

Babita Deokaran’s murder

Tuesday marked exactly a year since the Gauteng health official was gunned down outside her home in Winchester Hills, south of Johannesburg, shortly after returning from dropping off her daughter from school.

ALSO READ: Babita Deokaran: One year later, still no justice

Deokaran was a high-ranking official in the financial division of the Gauteng Department of Health and a key witness in several corruption investigations by the Special Investigative Unit (SIU) related to the procurement of personal protective equipment (PPE) in the province.

Her killing prompted calls for the protection of whistleblowers in the fight against corruption in South Africa after it emerged that she had informed her superiors about threats that she received on her life, but nothing was done to protect her.

Six accused on trial

Phakamani Hadebe, Zitha Hadebe, Nhlangano Ndlovu, Sanele Mbhele, Simphiwe Mazibuko and Phakanyiswa Dladla were arrested on 26 August 2021, in Rosettenville, together with a seventh suspect who was not charged, due to lack of evidence against him. All of the accused were denied bail last year.

The mastermind behind Deokaran’s assassination has still not been captured.

The six men face charges for murder, attempted murder, conspiracy to commit murder and possession of unlicensed firearm and ammunition. Deokaran was in the company of her domestic worker inside her car when she was killed in a hail of bullets, hence the charge of attempted murder.

In July, during a pre-trial hearing, the State served the accused with a 1 600-page indictment, and the case was transferred to the high court, after it was previously heard in the magistrate’s court.

@thecitizen_news Babita Deokaran #fyp #foryou #thecitizennews #babitadeokaran #southafrica ♬ original sound – The Citizen

NOW READ: Whistleblower Babita Deokaran’s case handed over to independent investigator

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