#PrellerSquareShooting: Case resumes after #Covid19 scare

Slain Bloemfontein businessman, Louis Siemens.
The murder trial of slain Bloemfontein businessman, Louis Siemens, is expected to resume with its second-leg in the Bloemfontein High Court, after a week-long break following a Covid-19 scare.

OFM News reports that the trial was brought to halt following a revelation that one person, prominently involved in the trial, came into contact with a Covid-19 positive patient. Judge Pitso Molitsoane, when he adjourned the matter, warned that if the test results of the said individual come back positive this would spell serious “problems” for the trial – which was previously paused by the global pandemic.

However, state prosecutor Advocate Johan de Nysschen says as far as he is concerned the trial will resume on Monday, as scheduled.

The state will seek to wrap up its testimonies against the accused with the self-confessed shooter Xolisile “Botha” Mbebetho, serving 22 years for the murder of Siemens, lined up to give what is expected a fiery testimony. The state hopes that in his testimony Mbebetho will divulge details which will further incriminate the alleged mastermind and accused number one Stanley Bakili’s role in the murder of Siemens.

Eight men, including businessman Bakili and two police officers, Kagisho Chabane and Molebatsi Mogoera, are standing trial for the murder of CityMed Managing Director (MD) on 10 May 2018 in the basement parking of Preller Sqaure Shopping complex in Bloemfontein.

The case has been dragging on for over a year and six months, and five of the accused linked to Siemens’ murder have been in custody for over six months following their arrest in 2018 and late 2019. So far over 20 state witnesses, including Home Affairs minister Aaron Motsoaledi and Free State Health HOD, David Motau, are some of the well-known figures who have given testimony in the Siemens murder trial.

Bakili is joined by Mogoera, Chabane, Mojalefa “Jali” Molusi, Moeketsi Lesia, Clive Tshivenga, Karabo Tau, and Sizwe Mpati as the accused in the trial. The men are between the ages of 29 and 56 and include three police officers, a disbarred advocate, an accused in separate double murder cases, and a military man, alleged to have played varying roles in orchestrating Siemens’ murder.