No closure in sight for Babita Deokaran’s family

Johannesburg – The family of slain Gauteng health department senior official Babita Deokaran is struggling to cope with her brutal killing, two months after she was gunned down execution-style.

Deokaran, a chief director of financial accounting in the department at the time, died in a hail of bullets outside her home in the south of Johannesburg.

Her brother Rakesh said this week that the pain of losing Deokaran was still fresh in their hearts. “People say with each day it gets easier; it is not getting easy. It is still fresh,” he said.

He said the Hawks had asked the family to be patient as they investigate the case, warning that rushing matters would jeopardise it.

“They said they can’t disclose much until the case goes to court,” he said.

It has emerged that the police were struggling to arrest the man suspected to have hired the hitmen involved in Deokaran’s killing. A source familiar with the case said it was understood that the six suspected killers, all from KwaZulu-Natal, had been organised by a man involved in the taxi industry. “The guy has been arrested in connection with the Mall of Africa taxi violence,” the source said.

The six men appeared before the Johannesburg magistrate’s court on August 30 on charges related to Deokaran’s murder.

She had been a witness in the special investigating unit’s probe of the  PPE scandal in the department.

Hawks spokesperson Katlego Mogale would not be drawn on the latest developments of the case.

“This is a sensitive investigation, and we are not in a position to divulge further information at this stage,” she said.

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