6 suspects in Babita Deokaran murder case denied bail

Babita Deokaran's death is believed to have been a targeted hit in connection with her role as a witness in a probe into an irregular PPE contract in the Gauteng Health Department.

FILE: The six men accused of the murder of Gauteng Health Department official, Babita Deokaran, appeared in the Johannesburg Magistrates Court on 30 August 2021. The charges against a seventh suspect were provisionally withdrawn. Picture: Abigail Javier/Eyewitness News

JOHANNESBURG - The six men charged with the murder of Gauteng Health Department official, Babita Deokaran, are expected back in court in February next year after their bail application was dismissed in the Johannesburg Magistrates Court on Monday afternoon.

Deokaran was shot dead outside her home in southern Johannesburg in August this year.

Her death is believed to have been a targeted hit in connection with her role as a witness in a probe into an irregular PPE contract in the department.

The court ruled that it was not in the interests of justice to release the accused on bail.

Magistrate Simon Sibanyoni found the six applicants linked to the murder of Deokaran had failed to place exceptional circumstances motivating their release on bail before the court.

"Other than challenging the admissibility or not of the confessions and points made by the applicants, there is nothing exceptional that the applicants have placed before this court," Sibanyoni said.

Sibanyoni said that the applicants' only available address was the Gauteng home where they stayed for three weeks before their arrest and that an address from their place of origin, KwaZulu-Natal, remained unknown.

"They might not be traced if they do not come back and appear before court, so the interests of justice do not permit their release on bail," Sibanyoni said.

The matter has been postponed to 24 February for further investigation.

All six accused will be remanded in custody.