Babita Deokaran (born 1968) was a South African public servant of Indian origin. She was a senior official in the Gauteng Provincial Government Department of Health. She held other public offices before her demise in August 2021.
A group of men with guns shot her to death while she was in her car outside her home. She had dropped and taken her daughter to school before the gunmen attacked her. They shot at her car many times, and Babita got hit.
Her death came with many controversies. However, reports had it that Deokaran was a witness in a corruption investigation.
|23 August 2021 (age 53 years)
|Cause of death:
|23 August 2021
|Outside of Victim’s home
|around 08:00 SAST
Babita Deokaran was born in 1968. She is of Indian origin and has seven siblings.
Deokaran held several public offices before her demise. She was the Chief Financial Officer at the Gauteng Provincial Government Department of Health.
Though, some reports related her to a corrupt COVID-19 PPE procurement scandal. She was a witness in an investigation of corrupt practices worth R332 million in the Gauteng Provincial Department of Health.
Had she testified, the public servant would have revealed a syndicate establishment linked to the corruption. She was on special leave before her assassination.
A group of gunmen assassinated Babita Deokaran on 23 August 2021. She had dropped her daughter, who is a teenager, at school.
While she sat in her car, outside her home in Johannesburg, a vehicle pulled alongside her. Those men opened fire at her and shot at her many times.
After her assassination, controversies filled the air. It seemed people wanted to solve the puzzle surrounding her death. She was an anti-corruption whistleblower. The state allowed her to move around exposed without protection.
The police began an investigation to bring to justice those who had a hand in her death. Their intel revealed that a suspicious BMW had visited the murder location many times.
Delving deeper into the case, they traced the car to a former member of the National Defence Force in the Pretoria area. They arrested six suspects.
The assassins had watched her for over a month before attacking her. CCTV cameras around that area were disabled. The six suspects received R2 million each as payment.
Two years after Babita Deokaran’s murder, the six men involved received jail terms. They pleaded guilty to her murder in the Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg in August 2023.
Their names are Phakamani Hadebe, Zitha Radebe, Nhlangano Ndlovu, Sanele Mbhele, Siphiwe Mazibuko, and Siphakanyiswa Dladla. They received different sentences according to the roles they played in the murder.