South African police are investigating the murder of Babita Deokaran, a government official from the Gauteng region, which includes Johannesburg. She had exposed the corruption surrounding fraudulent public contracts in connection with Covid-19, in favor of “Covidpreneurs”, these entrepreneurs who have illegally enriched themselves due to the pandemic. Seven people were arrested on Friday, August 27, 2021. The investigation continues to find out if his death is linked to his position against corruption.
as reported from Johannesburg, Claire Bargelès
Babita Deokaran was shot and killed in front of her house on Monday after leaving her daughter at school.
If the police have not yet stated what motives may be linked to this murder, the head of the Gauteng province, David Makhura, makes clear the connection to corruption cases that affect the regional administration.
The 53-year-old official, who was responsible for the region’s health department’s finances before her death, was an important witness in the police’s special investigation unit in a fraudulent public procurement case.
According to this unit, these contracts, tainted by collusion or over-invoicing, amount to almost € 20 million in expenditure to provide the region with coronavirus protection equipment.
Embezzlement that Babita Deokaran refused to cover, which makes her, for civil society associations, a whistleblower that the authorities have failed to protect. With the arrest of seven suspects, her family hopes to find out the reasons for his murder and return to the ordering party.