Alleged Deokaran murderers remanded in custody


The six suspects linked to the murder of senior finance official at the Gauteng Department of Health, Babita Deokaran, have been remanded in custody.

In a statement, National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) regional spokesperson Phindi Mjonondwane said the six – Phakamani Hadebe, Zitha Hadebe, Nhlangano Ndlovu, Sanele Mbhele, Simphiwe Mazibuko and Phakanyiswa Dladla – were charged with murder, attempted murder, conspiracy to commit murder and possession of an unlicensed firearm and ammunition.

“The accused were arrested on 26 August in Rosettenville, with a seventh suspect who was not charged due to lack of evidence against him,” she said.

Deokaran was fatally wounded on 23 August 2021 outside her home in Winchester Hills, shortly after returning from dropping off her daughter at school.

She was in the company of another person, hence the charge of attempted murder.

All accused were remanded in custody until 13 September for bail application preparations.

On Monday, President Cyril Ramaphosa condemned Deokaran’s murder, saying regardless of the circumstances behind the tragedy, the senior finance official was a hero and a patriot. He also called for a better protection of whistleblowers.