The trial of six men accused of murdering whistleblower Babita Deakaran has been postponed to October 6, 2022.

Babita Deakaran murder case

Phakamani Hadebe, Zita Hadebe, Nhlangana Ndlovu, Sanele Mbhele, Simphiwe Mazibuko and Phakaniswa Dladla made a brief appearance in the Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg on Wednesday morning.

ALSO READ: Babita Deakaran: One year on, still no justice

The High Court was expected to set a date for the murder case after a preliminary hearing in July.

But during a brief court hearing Wednesday, the defendants’ defense asked for delays to iron out some logistical issues.

They related to the payment of legal costs for the defense and the pending medical examiner’s report, which is required before the trial begins.

The accused have been charged

The six defendants are charged with murder, attempted murder, conspiracy to commit murder and possession of unlicensed firearms and ammunition in connection with the killing of Deokaran on August 23, 2021.

The group was arrested on 26 August 2021 in Rosettenville, Johannesburg, along with a seventh suspect, who has not been charged due to a lack of evidence against him. Last year, all the accused were denied bail.

The mastermind of the Gauteng health official’s murder has not yet been apprehended.

Deakaran was a senior official in the finance department of the Gauteng Department of Health and a key witness in several corruption investigations by the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) related to the procurement of personal protective equipment (PPE) in the province.

Tuesday marked exactly one year since she was shot dead outside her home in Winchester Hills, south of Johannesburg, shortly after returning from picking up her daughter from school.

Deakaran was in the company of her domestic worker in a car when she was killed in a hail of bullets, hence the attempted murder charge.

All the accused have been remanded in custody until the next court hearing in October.

@thecitizen_news Babita Deokaran #fyp #foryou #thecitizennews #babitadeokaran #southafrica ♬ original sound – The Citizen

NOW READ: ‘Confessions’: Suspects detail how they stalked and shot Deokaran

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