Case against men accused of murdering whistle-blower Babita Deokaran postponed
Friday’s bail application of the six men accused of murdering Gauteng health department official Babita Deokaran has been postponed.
Phakamani Hadebe, Zita Hadebe, Nhlangano Ndlovu, Sanele Mbele, Siphiwe Mazibuko and Phakanyiswa Dladla appeared briefly in the Johannesburg magistrate's court. The men are accused of murdering Deokaran outside her home south of Johannesburg in August.
Deokaran had been instrumental in blowing the whistle on alleged corruption around the department’s procurement of Covid-19 personal protective equipment.
In the postponement application request, prosecutor Steven Rubin told the court that at the accused’s next appearance the state would apply for certain parts of the bail hearing to be heard in-camera.
National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Phindi Mjonondwane said the postponement was requested because of technical issues with the court’s audio recording devices.
She said the in-camera application would be made because of certain sensitivities around the investigation. “The application will be for certain parts of the bail hearing to be held in-camera.
“At the next appearance the state will provide the court with reasons for this application.”
She said the bail hearing had been postponed to October 5 and October 8.