No Link Yet Between PPE Graft And Deokaran Murder

The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) on Friday said slain health department officer Babita Deokaran was one of more than 300 witnesses in Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) tender corruption.

While the SIU said it empathised with Deokaran’s loved ones, it said it cannot “at this stage link or associate her murder with the ongoing PPE investigations”.

The investigative unit said it has noted the public sentiments and concerns around witness protection following the murder.

“Once more, the SIU wishes to extend its heartfelt condolences to the Doekaran family, colleagues, and friends for their loss,” said the investigative unit.

The SIU said it welcomed the arrest of seven suspects relating to the murder of Deokaran.

Babita was one of the more than 320 witnesses in the ongoing PPE tender corruption and procurement irregularities probe, said the SIU.

“The SIU cannot, at this stage, link or associate the murder of Ms. Doekaran with the ongoing PPE investigations,” said the investigative unit, adding that it will allow the police to “get to the bottom of this”.

“The murder of Ms.Deokaran will not affect or compromise the ongoing PPE investigation in the Gauteng Department of Health,” said the investigative unit.

The SIU said it was committed to finalising all PPE tender corruption investigations, hold those responsible for procurement irregularities and corruption to account, and recovering any financial losses suffered by the state.