The case against six men accused of killing whistleblower Babita Deokaran will be back in the dock next month.
Phakamani Hadebe, Zitha Hadebe, Nhlangano Ndlovu, Sanele Mbhele, Simphiwe Mazibuko and Phakanyiswa Dladla made another appearance in the Johannesburg High Court on Thursday morning
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Their case had been postponed in August, due to unpaid legal fees.
At the time, the defence also indicated that it was waiting for a forensic report before the trial could get underway
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During Thursday’s proceedings, the court heard that the suspects, denied bail last year, have acquired new legal representation, which included an attorney and two advocates.
The matter was then postponed to 18 November.
The six men face charges of murder, attempted murder, conspiracy to commit murder and possession of unlicensed firearm and ammunition.
The accused previously made various confessions and admissions following their arrest, including that they were apparently acting at the behest of former Health Minister Zweli Mkhize.
But they later confessed to giving false statements and claimed they were tortured.
Deokaran was gunned down in August 2021 outside her complex in Mondeor, south of Johannesburg, shortly after dropping off her child at school and later died in hospital.
The 53-year-old was a high-ranking official in the financial division of the Gauteng Department of Health and a key witness in several corruption investigations by the Special Investigative Unit (SIU) related to the procurement of personal protective equipment (PPE) in the province.
She had flagged numerous dodgy payments from Tembisa Hospital totalling R850 million to various contractors in the weeks leading up to her death.
The Gauteng provincial government announced in August, that it was finalising the process of appointing an independent forensic investigator to look into allegations pertaining to the case of Deokaran.
Meanwhile, Provincial Health Department chief financial officer (CFO), Lerato Madyo, and Tembisa Hospital chief executive officer (CEO), Ashley Mthunzi, has since been suspended in connection to the R850 million tender scandal.
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