PODCAST | The Story: Whistleblower Babita Deokaran's murder and what she tried to uncover

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Sello Sekhokho has been implicated in an investigation into fraud involving several contracts with the Gauteng health department.
Sello Sekhokho has been implicated in an investigation into fraud involving several contracts with the Gauteng health department.
  • Babita Deokaran was gunned down outside her house in the south of Johannesburg in 2021 after dropping her daughter off at school.
  • She was the chief accountant at the Gauteng health department.
  • Three weeks before she was murdered, she alerted her superior to potentially fraudulent payments made from Tembisa Hospital to ANC Ekurhuleni leader Sello Sekhokho.

To uncover the truth behind the brutal murder of whistleblower Babita Deokaran, News24's investigative team tried to expose what the chief accountant for the Gauteng health department had raised concerns about.

Deokaran was murdered outside her home in the south of Johannesburg in August 2021 after dropping her daughter off at school.

In a special exposé this week, News24 reported that Deokaran had tried to stop R100 million in dodgy payments and flagged nearly R850 million in other suspicious transactions to the Gauteng health department shortly before she was murdered.

She even shared concerns with her boss that her life might be in danger if she continued with her investigation.

This week on The Story, we talk to journalist Jeff Wicks, a member of News24's investigative team. He tells us about what they have uncovered in their probe into what was happening with Tembisa Hospital's finances.

He also reveals the companies at the centre of the wrongdoing.

"She looked at the companies who were doing business with the hospital, and she found that there were hundreds of nameless, faceless companies with no public presence whatsoever, invoicing the department huge sums," Wicks said.

Deokaran noticed that in a single month, goods and services for the tertiary hospital accounted for R239 million, 25% more than Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital, which was four times its size.

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