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Deokaran murder accused bail bid postponed due to water outage at court

19 November 2021 - 12:09
The six men accused of the murder of Gauteng health department official Babita Deokaran. File photo.
The six men accused of the murder of Gauteng health department official Babita Deokaran. File photo.
Image: Alon Skuy/Sunday Times

A lack of water in the Johannesburg magistrate’s court on Friday led to the postponement of the bail application of six men accused of killing Gauteng health department official Babita Deokaran.

Due to hygiene issues related to the water outage, awaiting trial prisoners had to be returned to prison.

The bail application by Phakamani Hadebe, Zitha Radebe, Phinda Ndlovu, Sanele Mbhele, Siphiwe Mazibuko and Siphakanyiswa Dladla will continue being heard on November 30.

Deokaran was killed outside her home south of Johannesburg in August.

She had been instrumental in blowing the whistle on alleged corruption regarding the department’s procurement of Covid-19 personal protective equipment.

The six had applied for bail, but the state has opposed their applications.

When the application was heard earlier this month, prosecutor Steve Rubin read out an affidavit filed by an investigating officer in which he argued that, among other things, the kingpin and masterminds who ordered the hit were still at large and could try to kill the accused.

The state said releasing the six on bail could also disrupt public order.

During the bail application earlier this month, Hadebe dropped a bombshell in his affidavit, alleging he was tortured by police into confessing that a hit on Deokaran was ordered by former health minister Zweli Mkhize.

Mkhize responded by issuing a statement saying he was shocked that his “name had been dragged into the case of the men arrested in connection with the murder”.

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