Human Right Activist, John Clarke, says he is concerned about the lack of protection in South Africa for whistleblowers.
Commenting on the sentencing of the six men involved in the killing of whistleblower Babita Deokaran – Clarke expressed worry over the slow pace of the process of dealing with such crimes in the country, describing it as a disservice.
Today, marks two years since Deokaran was gunned down outside her Winchester Hills home, in the south of Johannesburg, after exposing tender irregularities at the Tembisa Hospital.
She was a senior official at the Gauteng Department of Health.
Clarke says he hopes that the suspects have given enough information to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) on who is behind the murder of the 53-year-old mother.
“These are people who are low in the chain of command and one hopes that they have given enough information to the NPA, to help them to go after the people higher up in the chain of command, because they are the real culprits.”
The activist says more efforts should be made to speed up the process to bring closure to these type of cases.
“Because the longer justice gets delayed, it doesn’t only just become justice denied, it becomes injustice compounded. In the sense that it just leads to general sense of further delegitimising the criminal justice system and the authority of the state.”
Meanwhile, Deokaran’s brother, Rakesh, says the family is hurt by the fact that the accused haven’t shown any remorse for their actions.
The six men pleaded guilty in the high court in Johannesburg yesterday and were given sentences ranging from six to 22 years.
A memorial service in the whistleblower’s honour is being held in Mondeor, south of Johannesburg, this evening.
Two years today since #BabitaDeokaran was gunned down outside her home. Yesterday the men who shot her pleaded guilty to her murder. The person/people who put out the hit are still at large. May her courage to speak out about corruption never be forgotten.
— Sebenzile Nkambule (@SebeNkambule) August 23, 2023
— Zimkhitha (@zimkhithaz) August 22, 2023
Written by: Nonhlanhla Harris