Two more arrested with a ‘lot of cash’ for Babita Deokaran murder: Cele

02 September 2021 - 14:26
The recent murder of senior Gauteng health department official Babita Deokaran has left some of her colleagues fearing for their own lives.
The recent murder of senior Gauteng health department official Babita Deokaran has left some of her colleagues fearing for their own lives.
Image: Supplied

Two more people have been arrested in connection with the murder of senior Gauteng health department finance official Babita Deokaran.

Police minister Bheki Cele confirmed the arrests during a visit to Phoenix in KwaZulu-Natal on Thursday.

Cele said police also recovered two vehicles and one firearm.

“But interesting, it looks like they have been arrested with a lot of cash in their cars. The story was that it was an expensive exercise, where people were getting a lot of money each to pull the mission of killing Babita,” said Cele.

“I hope now it will be able for [them] to tell us where the cash comes from,” Cele said.

Earlier this week, six suspects appeared in the Johannesburg magistrate’s court in connection with the murder.

Originally seven men were arrested but only six — Phakamani Hadebe, Zita Hadebe, Nhlangano Ndlovu, Sanele Mbele, Siphiwe Mazibuko and Phakanyiswa Dladla — appeared in court.

National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Phindi Mjonondwane said the “seventh suspect could not be linked to evidence”.

They were charged with murder, attempted murder, conspiracy to commit murder and possession of unlicensed firearms.

Deokaran, 53, died in a hail of bullets last Monday in Winchester Hills, south of Johannesburg. She was a key witness in an investigation run from Gauteng premier David Makhura’s office into personal protective equipment (PPE) tender corruption.

The matter has been postponed to September 13 for bail applications.

Gauteng Hawks spokesperson Capt Ndivhuwo Mulamu said a woman who was in the car with Deokaran at the time of the attack was in a “safe place”.

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