Babita Deokaran murder: More arrests expected after 6 accused make first court appearance

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Six men appear in the Johannesburg Magistrates Court on 30 August, 2021, in connection with the murder of Babita Deokaran.
Six men appear in the Johannesburg Magistrates Court on 30 August, 2021, in connection with the murder of Babita Deokaran.
Photo: Lwandile Bhengu/News24

More people are expected to be arrested for the murder of Gauteng health department official Babita Deokaran.

On Monday, six men - Nhlangano Ndlovu, Siphakanyiswa Dladla, Zitha Radebe, Simphiwe Mazibuko, Sanele Mbele and Phakamani Radebe - appeared in the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court in connection with the murder.

They have been charged with murder, attempted murder, conspiracy to commit murder, and possession of an unlicenced firearm and ammunition. 

All the men were between the ages of 24 and 30 and were arrested in KwaZulu-Natal, according to the Hawks.

A seventh person was arrested but not charged due to a lack of evidence.

In court, their lawyer said Mbele had suffered injuries to his upper lip and tooth caused by an alleged assault. 

After the brief court appearance, Hawks spokesperson Captain Ndivhuwo Mulamu said more people would be arrested for the murder. He could not provide a time frame for the additional arrests.

"We still have outstanding suspects that we are looking into, there is intelligence that we are working on and we are following up on that information we can actually confirm that more arrests will be imminent."

Mulamu added none of the arrested men worked for the Department of Health. 

She would not be drawn to comment on whether any of the men had links to the SA National Defence Force as rumoured. 

READ | Babita Deokaran: SIU says measures are in place to protect witnesses and whistleblowers

Deokaran, a Special Investigating Unit witness, was gunned down outside her home last Monday.

The accused will return to court on 13 September for their bail application.


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