Two more suspects ‘with a lot of cash’ arrested for Babita Deokaran murder - Cele

By Sihle Mlambo Time of article published Sep 2, 2021

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JOHANNESBURG - Police Minister Bheki Cele has announced that two more suspects have been arrested in connection with the murder of former Gauteng Health acting chief financial officer Babita Deokaran, who was gunned down outside her home last week.

Cele was speaking to journalists from Durban on Thursday when he made the announcement.

He said the two suspects were found with “a lot of cash”, and an unlicensed firearm and two cars were seized.

Last week, Gauteng police arrested seven suspects in connection with Deokaran's murder.

“One is happy to see that the investigation is progressing really well as two more people have been arrested with two cars, one firearm, but interestingly it looks like they have been arrested with a lot of cash in their cars,” he said.

“The story is that it was an expensive exercise, with people getting lots of money each to pull the mission of killing Babita Deokaran.

“The fact that they found the raw cash with them, we hope now that they will be able to tell us where did this cash come from,” said Cele.

Last week, six of the seven suspects charged with Deokaran’s murder appeared in the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court. They are expected to make a formal bail application before the court on September 13.

Deokaran had been a witness, assisting the Special Investigating Unit with investigations into Gauteng Health's multimillion-rand personal protective equipment (PPE) tender corruption.

Gauteng Premier David Makhura commended the Gauteng Serious and Violent Crimes Unit for the arrests at the time.

During that arrest, two firearms and two vehicles were seized.

“We have lost an upright public servant and I am pleased that SAPS has acted swiftly in arresting the suspects in the murder case of Ms Deokaran. I believe that police will uncover the masterminds behind this horrific crime,” Makhura said.

“The corrupt elements in government who collude with rogue business to rig tenders have nowhere to hide. Looters shall not win. We will not retreat,” he said.

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