Deokaran’s family said they would be “extremely angry” if it turned out the NPA kept them in the dark about her murder
This comes after one of the men involved in her murder, Mpungose, was shot dead just months after allegedly assassinating of the Gauteng health department official, according to The Sunday Times.
According to the paper, the shocking new development suggests that unless police can track down two other suspects named by the six men in the plea deal, the masterminds behind the murder may never be found.
A police source with knowledge of the investigation confirmed that Mpungose was killed in Germiston, four months after Deokaran’s assassination, in what is believed to have been a feud between taxi owners.
It was further revealed that Mpungose was taken in for questioning shortly after Deokaran’s murder but was released when the police could not find evidence linking him to the crime.
Last week, six men accused of killing the whistleblower entered into a plea and sentence agreement with the state after confessing to be the hitmen recruited to assassinate Deokaran. The men received various prison terms of between six and 22 years in jail.
NPA spokesperson Phindile Mjonondwane this week suggested they were unaware that a key witness was already dead.
“We are now following up on the three people they named. We are hoping that the investigation will … help with getting the person who gave the instruction [for Deokaran to be killed].”
Deokaran has been remembered as a woman of integrity whose voice cannot be silenced.
During the gathering in Mondeor on Wednesday night, 23 August 2023, commitments were made to find the mastermind behind Deokaran’s murder.
Deokaran’s brother-in-law, Tony Haripersadh, said the family was extremely grateful for the support they have received.
“This is a very difficult time for the Deokaran family being the second anniversary of that fateful day when Babita was snatched away from us in such a horrendous manner. The events of 23rd August 2021 are forever etched in our minds and will be a lifelong memory to our family.”
Gauteng Health MEC Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko representing Premier Panyaza Lesufi maintained that in memory of Deokaran, the truth must be uncovered to expose the mastermind who ordered the hit and to ensure they are brought to justice
“While the sentencing of the six men offers a sense of relief, we must not lose sight of the broader scope of justice. It is incumbent upon us to pursue every lead, explore every avenue, and relentlessly seek out those who orchestrated this tragic event.
“We owe it to the memory of Ms. Deokaran, her family, and our community to uncover the full truth, to expose the mastermind who plotted this crime, and to ensure they, too, are brought to justice,” Nkomo-Ralehoko said.
Deokaran was shot several times outside her complex in the south of Johannesburg in August 2021, after flagging corruption in the Gauteng Department Health’s procurement of Covid personal protective equipment to the value of R332 million.