By Kaya 959 Reporter
Gauteng Premier David Makhura has paid tribute to Babita Deokaran, the health official gunned down outside her Mondeor home on Monday morning.
Gauteng police spokesperson, Colonel Kay Makhubele said Deokaran had just dropped her child off at school and was parked outside her property.
“She was shot several times at the gate in Mondeor,” he said.
Deokaran was a senior finance official at the Department of Health which is currently under investigation for fraud and corruption relating to the procurement of Personal Protective Equipment in Gauteng.
Makhura, accompanied by the province’s Health and Community Safety MECs, visited the Deokaran family to pay their respects.
He said during her tenure as Acting CFO, she uncovered corruption and stopped payments of irregular contracts in the department at different levels, including hospitals.
“She took to heart the call to bring perpetrators of corruption and looting of public resources to book,” he said.
Makhura said as a result of her conscientious and courageous leadership, Deokaran provided crucial evidence to the disciplinary processes conducted by both the Offices of the Premier and the Special Investigations Unit.
Deokaran’s family speaks out
Makhura extended his heartfelt condolences to Deokaran’s family and colleagues.
“In honour of Babita Deokaran, we will do everything in our power to ensure that the perpetrators of corrupt tender processes and the callous killing of officials face the full might of the law,” Makhura said.
Deokaran’s family believes her murder was a hit linked to an ongoing investigation. Speaking to IOL, a relative said someone tried to silence Deokaran.
Her brother-in-law, Bishop Tony Haripersadh, said they believed Deokaran was targeted because she tried to do things the right way.
Deokaran was a key witness in the investigation.
Makhura said the provincial government will continue its efforts to uncover acts of corruption.
“We will not be cowed down by criminal gangs who want to loot state resources. We are taking steps to protect officials who have become targets of threats, intimidation and wanton murder,” he said.
Police confirmed that a case of murder has been opened and is under investigation. No suspects have been arrested as yet.
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