Quiet reflection and food for the poor as Babita Deokaran's family mark her birthday
Slain corruption buster's brother-in-law says they're still reeling from her death
What would have been a day of celebration for the family of Gauteng health official Babita Deokaran — her birthday — was instead a day of quiet reflection and giving to the poor.
The corruption whistleblower, who was gunned down outside her Winchester Hills home in the south of Johannesburg in August, would have turned 53 on Tuesday.
“It is a very sombre day for us. No-one in the family is celebrating. What we did do, which was to honour Babita’s memory, was to distribute food parcels to the poor in Phoenix and its surrounding areas,” said Deokaran’s brother-in-law, Tony Haripersadh.
Speaking to TimesLIVE from the family’s home in Durban, Haripersadh said they were still in mourning.
“It is an unbelievable loss and not something that one just gets over. The family decided to come together and as a unit we distributed to those who are less fortunate.
“It is what Babita would have wanted.”
He said after the food distribution, the family had watched on TV the bail application of Deokaran’s alleged killers, who appeared in the Johannesburg magistrate’s court.
Phakamani Hadebe, Zitha Hadebe, Nhlangano Ndlovu, Sanele Mbhele, Siphiwe Mazibuko and Phakanyiswa Dladla are facing multiple charges for the death of Deokaran, including murder, attempted murder and possession of an unlicensed firearm and ammunition.
They are alleged to have spent a month following Deokaran, who had tipped off the Special Investigating Unit on corrupt tenders within the department, including malfeasance in the R332m procurement of Covid-19 PPE for the department’s staff.
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