#PrellerShooting: Health official resigns amidst murder trial

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A legal adviser at the Free State Health Department, and the tenth man arrested in connection with the murder of Bloemfontein businessman, Louis Siemens, has resigned from his job at the department.

The information was first revealed by the state’s first witness in the trial, Bloemfontein businessman, Sello Rantso. He was testifying on his interactions with Siemens, the accused, Stanley Bakili, and various officials from the Health Department – including Justice Vinger, who resigned.

Spokesperson for the provincial health department, Mondli Mvambi confirmed that Vinger has resigned from his job at the department. Mvambi did not comment further on the matter. The advocate served on the department’s hospital licensing committee.

He was arrested around mid to late September 2019 after it was alleged that he benefited from the alleged R6,5 million deal between Bakili and Siemens. In a twist of events, charges were dropped against him and the prosecutor, Johan de Nysschen, revealed he had turned state witness.

Vinger’s statement was among the contentious issues that led to the trial being postponed by three days. The trial was meant to have gotten underway on Monday (28 October), however what instead transpired, was a back and forth blame game  between the state and the defence, with the latter – notably accused number one, Stanley Bakili’s attorney, Masilo Koenane – requesting a postponement to gain access to video footage and a stack of documents, which include statements by a Mr Duncan Lechesa and Vinger.

Siemens’ relationship with accused number one, Stanley Bakili, forms the background of the state’s case. It is alleged the CityMed Managing Director had been paying bribes through Bakili for hospital bed licences when things went awry between the two.

Louis Siemens was gunned down in the basement parking lot of Preller Square on 10 May 2018. The men standing trial for his murder are Bakili, Mogoera Molebatsi, Kagiso Chabane, Mojalefa Jali Molusi, Moeketsi Lesia, Karabo Tau, Sizwe Mpati and Clive Tshivenga. – OLEBOGENG MOTSE/OFM News