Babita Deokaran killed for exposing R1bn corruption at Tembisa Hospital, says Panyaza Lesufi

The entrance to Tembisa Hospital. Picture: Dimpho Maja/African News Agency (ANA)

The entrance to Tembisa Hospital. Picture: Dimpho Maja/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Dec 14, 2022


Pretoria - Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi has admitted that whistle-blower Babita Deokaran was murdered for exposing R1 billion worth of irregular tenders issued at the Tembisa Hospital.

Now, Lesufi has asked the Hawks to speedily carry out the investigation and put the kingpins on trial along with six others charged with her murder in the South Gauteng High Court in Joburg.

He made the call yesterday after admitting that Deokaran – former chief director: financial accounting at the Gauteng Health Department – may have been killed for exposing how four prominent business families, including top ANC politician Sello Sekhokho, irregularly obtained massive tenders from the hospital.

He said a preliminary Special Investigative Unit (SIU) report found a link between Deokaran’s role in exposing 227 companies and her cold-blooded murder outside her home in the south of Joburg on August 23, 2021.

Civil society organisations such as Corruption Watch, the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation, Defend our Democracy and prominent ANC politicians such as Derek Hanekom have, since her callous murder, maintained that it was premeditated and linked to the exposure she made about irregular issuing of tenders at Tembisa hospital.

Babita Deokaran. Picture: File

According to Lesufi, the 227 companies were owned by different families who each accumulated a certain number of contracts, which resulted in Gauteng Health incurring an irregular expenditure bill.

He said Stefan Govindraju – who was the main beneficiary of the irregular tender – received contracts worth more than R436 million; the Morgan and Aluwani Maumela family R336m; Rudolf and Lihle Mazibuko R249m; and ANC Ekurhuleni regional treasurer Sekhokho received R1.7m tenders irregularly.

After the callous murder, police nabbed Phakamani Hadebe, Zitha Radebe, Nhlangano Ndlovu, Sanele Mbhele, Siphiwe Mazibuko and Siphakanyiswa Dladla, but Lesufi says the masterminds behind the murder were still free.

“The SIU report found that there were fraudulent activities at Tembisa Hospital after receiving information supplied by Deokaran, who was the whistle-blower. She compiled that forensic report, which exposed corruption at the hospital,” Lesufi said.

Pretoria News