Cops threatened to torture, kill me if I did not confess', says Babita Deokaran's murder accused

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The six men accused of killing Babita Deokaran are, from left, Phakamani Vincent Hadebe, Sitha Radebe, Phinda Ndlovu, Sanele Mbhele, Siphiwe Thabane Mazibuko and Siphakanyiswa Dladla. Photo: Isabel Venter
The six men accused of killing Babita Deokaran are, from left, Phakamani Vincent Hadebe, Sitha Radebe, Phinda Ndlovu, Sanele Mbhele, Siphiwe Thabane Mazibuko and Siphakanyiswa Dladla. Photo: Isabel Venter
  • Two men who appeared in court for their bail application for the murder of Babita Deokaran told court they know nothing of the murder.
  • One of the men said he was threatened with torture and death if he did not confess.
  • The other suspect said he was forced to confess after being told that his co-accused had implicated him in the murder.

One of the men accused of killing Gauteng Health Department whistleblower Babita Deokaran has denied killing her, saying he was forced to confess to the murder.

Siphakanyiswa Dladla also denied having any knowledge of the murder. 

He said he was arrested while was at his home in Rosettenville, Johannesburg. 

The 25-year-old said there were about 20 police officers at his residence and he accused them of assaulting and punching him. 

He said the officers threatened to torture and kill him if he did not confess to the murder. 

He told the court:

I was terrified that I would be killed.

Dladla, Siphiwe Mazibuko, Sanele Mbhele, Zitha Radebe, Nhlangano Ndlovu and Phakamani Radebe appeared in the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court on Friday for the continuation of their bail application. 

In his bail affidavit that was read out in court, Mazibuko said he was forced to confess to the murder after being told by police officers that his co-accused had implicated him as the mastermind to the contract killing.

ALSO READ | Babita Deokaran: Zweli Mkhize 'shocked, saddened' to learn his name was dragged into 'callous crime'

He added that officers also asked him to show them where he kept the money and guns used in the killing. 

He told the court that he was a registered Bolt driver and often operated in the Johannesburg south area, adding that photos of Deokaran's vehicle and her place of residence seen in his phone were not taken for nefarious reasons.

Deokaran, 53, was gunned down while sitting in her car outside her home in Winchester Hills on 23 August. She had just returned from dropping her teenage daughter at school when gunmen opened fire on her car, News24 previously reported. 

Deokaran was a witness in the Special Investigating Unit's investigation into Personal Protective Equipment tender fraud amounting to more than R300 million in the Gauteng Health Department.


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