Police hunt killers of Gauteng health dept official who was witness in PPE corruption probe

play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Babita Deokaran.
Babita Deokaran.

Gauteng police have launched a manhunt following the shooting of a provincial health department official outside her Johannesburg home on Monday.

On Tuesday, the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) revealed that Babita Deokaran, the chief director of financial accounting at the Gauteng Department of Health, was a witness in one of the SIU's investigations into corruption in the awarding of tenders for personal protective equipment (PPE).

Deokaran was shot several times outside her Mondeor home after dropping off her child at school on Monday morning.

In a statement issued on Monday, the department said Deokaran had died in hospital several hours after the shooting.

In a brief statement, police said the motive for the incident was unknown and no arrests had yet been made.

Police officers returned to the scene on Tuesday.

News24 could see officers in unmarked vehicles inside the complex where Deokaran lived.

READ HERE | Kind, committed, honest: Family devastated after Gauteng official killed in hail of bullets

It's unclear if anything had been taken from Deokaran in the incident.

The SIU said there was as yet no link between the shooting and Deokaran's involvement in its investigation as a witness.

The unit is said to have about 300 witnesses in its case.

SIU spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago told Newzroom Afrika that all their witnesses "are very crucial" as they form part of the investigation.

Kganyago didn't specify what Deokaran's evidence would deal with.

Gauteng Health MEC Nomathemba Mokgethi said Deokaran was an "invaluable" member of the department's team who "rose up the ranks" in the public service "in the last three decades".

The MEC has called on the authorities "to leave no stone unturned" as they probe the murder.

We want to hear your views on the news. Subscribe to News24 to be part of the conversation in the comments section of this article.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
The ANC's leadership race is heating up. Who do you think will be elected party president at Nasrec in December?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has got it in the bag
6% - 299 votes
I foresee a second term for Cyril Ramaphosa
81% - 3780 votes
Don’t discount a Zweli Mkhize win
12% - 563 votes
Rand - Dollar
Rand - Pound
Rand - Euro
Rand - Aus dollar
Rand - Yen
Brent Crude
Top 40
All Share
Resource 10
Industrial 25
Financial 15
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.