One of the six men alleged to have murdered Gauteng Health whistleblower Babita Deokaran, has been on full salary while behind bars because his municipal employer didn’t “know his whereabouts”, reports News24.
It says Sanele Mbhele – a 27-year-old general worker at the Nkosi Langalibalele District Municipality in Estcourt – last reported for duty in March. The state alleges that he and five others were in a gang of contract killers paid to eliminate Deokaran, who died from bullet wounds after a drive-by shooting in Johannesburg last month. Their bail hearing starts this Thursday (30 September).
Nearly a full month after his arrest, the municipal manager is finally “considering” disciplinary action because they had no idea where he was. Municipal manager Patrick Mkhize said: “We acknowledge Sanele Mbhele works at Inkosi Langalibalele Local Municipality, although our records show that he last reported for work in March. The municipality is considering a disciplinary action on abscondment as we don't know his whereabouts.”
Meanwhile, a Sunday Times Daily report says that cellphone messages and anonymous phone calls allegedly threatening Deokaran over her blocking of payments for dodgy lucrative hospital infrastructure, maintenance and supply contracts, are central to the Hawks investigation into her death.
Sources with knowledge of investigations by the Hawks and the Gauteng government’s integrity, anti-corruption and ethics team said between July and August, Deokaran had received increasingly threatening messages. They said these followed several anonymous telephone calls. A source said among the payments Deokaran had recently stopped were to a contractor hired to supply new beds to Tembisa Hospital on the East Rand.
A colleague who had worked with Deokaran confirmed her flagging of suspicious payment requests to the contractor.
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