Deokaran's murder a great loss for SA, corruption fight - Ramaphosa

Babita Deokaran was shot outside her home in the south of Joburg a week ago, after dropping off her child at school. She was a key witness in the SIU's investigation into the PPE scandal in Gauteng.

FILE: Babita Deokaran. Picture: Keep The Energy/Facebook

JOHANNESBURG - President Cyril Ramaphosa said that the country needed to urgently review its approach when it came to protecting witnesses and whistleblowers.

In his weekly newsletter released on Monday morning, the president said that the murder of senior finance official in the Gauteng Health Department, Babita Deokaran, was a great loss for South Africa and the fight against corruption.

Deokaran was shot outside her home in the south of Joburg a week ago, after dropping off her child at school.

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She was a key witness in the SIU's investigation into the PPE scandal in Gauteng.

Deokaran's murder has thrust witness protection under the microscope here in South Africa and President Ramaphosa said that the country needed to tighten existing systems and provide greater support to those who publicly came forward with information.

In his weekly newsletter, he described Deokaran as "a hero" and "a patriot".

He saluted the slain Joburg mother and other brave South Africans for standing up against corruption.

Ramaphosa said that whistleblowers must be acknowledged and rewarded for exposing corruption, which he described as the highest form of public service.

Seven suspects have been arrested for Deokaran's murder.

They're expected to appear in court on Monday.

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