Picture: 123RF/HXDBZXY
Picture: 123RF/HXDBZXY

Senior Gauteng health department financial officer Babita Deokaran, who was gunned down outside her Johannesburg South home on Monday, was a witness in the Special Investigating Unit’s (SIU) investigation into PPE purchase irregularities.

Police on Monday said 53-year-old Deokaran, who died in hospital, was shot outside her home in Mondeor shortly after dropping her daughter at school. SIU spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago, confirmed that Deokaran was a witness in the investigation into the Gauteng PPE scandal. “She was one of 300 witnesses who we have in the case. At this point in time, we are giving the police the space they need to investigate and establish the motive for the killing.

“While we view what has happened in a very serious light and are very concerned by the murder of one of the witnesses in our case, we cannot yet attribute it to the investigation that we were conducting.”

He said that Deokaran’s death would not jeopardise the investigation. “She was one of many witnesses who we were relying on in our investigation.”

Gauteng health department MEC Nomathemba Mokgethi said in a statement that Deokaran, who she described as “invaluable”, worked as chief director of the financial accounting department. “She at times acted as the CFO.”

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