Authorities should ensure whistleblowers are protected: Babita Deokaran’s brother

Reading Time: 2 minutes

The brother of whistleblower Babita Deokaran has expressed gratitude to the media for focusing on the cases she was investigating at the time of her death.

Deokaran, a senior Gauteng Health official, was gunned down outside her Johannesburg home in what is believed to have been a hit. She was a key witness in an investigation into tender fraud related to the procurement of personal protective equipment.

Six men have since been charged with Deokaran’s murder and are due to be back in court on August 24, 2022.

Deokaran’s brother, Rakesh, says her death should motivate authorities to ensure that whistleblowers are protected.

Rakesh says, “Initially, it has been difficult. As a family unit, we stood together and tried to overcome it, but as the days get closer now, it becomes more difficult for us. We actually appreciate what the media has done. At the end of the day, to get things out there, it’s not something that should be swept under the bridge. At the end of the day, we appreciate what the media has done for us to put it out there on a regular basis.”

SIU welcomes arrests in Babita Deokaran murder case:

Gauteng Premier David Makhura is finalising the appointment of an Independent Forensic Investigator (IFI), to deal with allegations emerging from the Babita Deokaran murder investigation.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) recently called for the immediate suspension of the Tembisa hospital CEO Ashley Mthunzi, who allegedly signed off payments to more than 200 companies.

Deokaran identified the payments as being possibly fraudulent.

Premier’s office Mohlalefi Lebotha says, “Premier Makhura said that while we are committed to ensuring that decisive action is taken against public servants that have been found to have failed in discharging their responsibilities in line with the PFMA, we need to ensure that our actions are in line with the PSA and other applicable prescripts.”

The SIU confirmed that Deokaran was a key witness in a multi-million-rand fraud investigation linked to alleged improper COVID-19 personal protective equipment tenders.

Deokaran blew the whistle on corrupt colleagues – influential politicians who had allegedly fraudulently manipulated tenders for their own benefit.

SIU welcomes arrests in Babita Deokaran murder case: