In a significant development, six men accused of the murder of whistleblower Babita Deokaran have pleaded guilty to the crime in the Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg.
The court proceedings on Tuesday led to the delivery of hefty sentences for each of the accused.
Hefty Sentences for Murderers
The accused individuals, namely Phakamani Vincent Hadebe, Mhlangano Phinda Ndlovu, Sanele Mbhele, Siphakanyiswa Dladla, Zitha Radebe, and Siphiwe Thabane Mazibuko, were found guilty of the murder and subsequently received substantial sentences.
These sentences reflect the gravity of their actions and their involvement in the crime.
Babita Deokaran’s Tragic End
Babita Deokaran, a 53-year-old health official, met a tragic fate on August 23, 2021.
She was shot and killed after bravely exposing alleged instances of fraud and corruption at Tembisa Hospital.
The incident occurred as she had just dropped her child off at school, making it all the more shocking.
Deokaran sustained multiple gunshot wounds to her upper body and later succumbed to her injuries in the hospital.
Arrests and Denial of Bail
Following the murder, a swift and intensive trace operation led to the arrest of six individuals on August 26, 2021, in connection with the crime.
These accused individuals were subsequently denied bail and were remanded in custody as the legal process unfolded.
Sentences Handed Down
During the course of the court proceedings, the accused pleaded guilty to the murder charges. As a result, the court delivered sentences as follows:
– Phakamani Vincent Hadebe: 22 years imprisonment for murder.
– Mhlangano Phinda Ndlovu: 6 years imprisonment for murder.
– Sanele Mbhele: 22 years imprisonment for murder.
– Siphakanyiswa Dladla: 15 years imprisonment for murder, 7 years imprisonment for possession of a firearm, and 7 years imprisonment for possession of ammunition, resulting in an effective sentence of 15 years.
– Zitha Radebe: 15 years imprisonment for murder.
– Siphiwe Thabane Mazibuko: 15 years imprisonment for murder.
Recognition for Investigation and Prosecution
Lieutenant General Godfrey Lebeya, the National Head of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, expressed commendation for the investigation and prosecution teams involved in the case.
Their dedication and hard work throughout the legal proceedings were acknowledged as crucial elements in delivering justice for Babita Deokaran.
This case serves as a poignant reminder of the importance of safeguarding whistleblowers who expose wrongdoing, and the necessity of upholding the rule of law to ensure that justice is served for victims and their families.Share on Facebook «||» Share on Twitter «||» Share on Reddit «||» Share on LinkedIn