As a huge setback in the Babita Deokaran murder case, the Sunday Times reported that one of the men accused of planning the whistleblower’s murder died barely months after her death.
Six men were sentenced for murder last week after entering into a plea agreement with the state.
Phakamani Hadebe, Nhlangano Ndlovu, Sanele Mbhele, Siphakanyiswa Dladla, Zitha Radebe, and Siphiwe Mazibuko were sentenced to prison terms ranging from six to 22 years.
According to the plea agreement, the men identified a man named Khanyisani Mpungose as the one who hired them to assassinate the Gauteng health officer.
Mpungose, however, is no longer alive, according to the Sunday Times. He died two years ago.
The National Prosecuting Authority will need to track down two other men indicated by the accused in order to fully crack the case.
Deokaran’s family said they would be furious if the NPA withheld this information from them.
Deokaran was a top health department officer who uncovered R1 billion in fraudulent tenders at Tembisa Hospital.
She had just returned from dropping her daughter off at school when she was killed down outside her home in Johannesburg’s Winchester Hills in August 2021.