Babita Deokaran was assassinated because she was “creating problems at work,” according to the men who now admit they assisted to eliminate her.
On Tuesday, the six men arrested for the whistleblower’s murder in 2021 reached a plea and sentence agreement with the State.
They have now admitted to the crime and have been convicted of it.
In exchange, they received prison sentences ranging from six to 22 years.
The plea and sentence agreement was read on record at the Johannesburg High Court on Tuesday.
The plea and punishment agreement indicated that in the weeks preceding Deokaran’s death, accused 1, Phakamani Hadebe, was approached by an individual described as Khanyisani Mpungose.
Mpungose told him that Deokaran was “a problem” who “created problems at work” and that she needed to be “dealt with,” but it was apparent he wasn’t talking about his own employment and was speaking on behalf of someone else.
Hadebe subsequently recruited the remaining accused before the court and, ultimately, they have now admitted that, together with Mpungose and another man whose identity is unknown to them, they assassinated Deokaran on 23 August 2021.
Mpungose and the other unidentified man are thought to have been the shooters, although the accused admitted in court that they were all operating with the same intention and were found guilty of murder with dolus eventualis as the form of intent.