#PrellerSquareShooting: Dismissal of accused police officials set aside

The dismissal of two of the police officials on trial in the Bloemfontein High Court for allegedly playing varying roles in the murder of City Med MD Louis Siemens was overturned in February of this year.

Documents in OFM News’ possession reveal the dismissal which was made in January 2019 was overturned by the then acting provincial commissioner on 14 February 2019 for reasons yet to be confirmed.

The accused in question, Bayswater Detective Molebatsi Mogoera and Court Orderly Kagiso Chabane, were dismissed on 22 January after they were found guilty of alleged misconduct through disciplinary proceedings.

This, however, was overturned and set aside and it is further indicated that the police management as the employer does not waiver the right to invoke their dismissal should they be convicted in the trial.

Mogoera and Chabane, however, remain suspended and they are in custody after been arrested in 2018 for their alleged involvement in the murder of Siemens at Preller Square basement on 10 May 2018.

The document further indicates that the matter will receive further attention pending the outcome of the criminal case.

Meanwhile, Police spokesperson, Motantsi Makhele, says the issues of suspension and outcome of any departmental trials are more concerning the relationship of the employer and employee.

“There are some contractual obligations we need to respect in this regard.” We also need to remember this is the information placed in those individuals personal files; hence such proceedings are held behind closed doors,” Makhele adds.

During a briefing in October 2019, the provincial commissioner Moeketsi Sempe said as far as he was aware, the two implicated in the murder of Siemens were dismissed, following an internal investigation and a disciplinary process.

Mogoera stands accused of tampering with evidence and serving as an accomplice in orchestrating the murder of Siemens, while Chabane was arrested for hiring a white VW Polo that was used as a getaway car for accused number one and mastermind, Stanley Bakili.

He also accompanied the self-confessed murderer who is already serving a 22-year sentence in jail, Xolisile Mbeteto, and Bakili to Home-Affairs. Chabane is also one of the people who called Bakili several times a day before the murder of Siemens.

Judge Pitso Molitsoane heard during a court testimony that the Bayswater detective Moeketsi Lesia is also serving a suspension related to his alleged involvement in the murder of Siemens.

Lesia was arrested on 19 November, a few days after he testified that he was coerced by his superior, Tshokolo Phosholi, to say in a statement that Mogoera was corrupt and was seen with Bakili in the Windmill Casino with a document.

Last month, OFM News reported that more than 62 officials were dismissed from the SAPS for their alleged involvement in crime over the 2018/19 financial year.

Sempe said these police officers were dismissed for their involvement in a range of crimes, including murder, rape, and the obstruction of justice, amongst a slew of others.

He said the number of those dismissed is higher than previous years because of police management’s commitment to root out ill-discipline and corruption.

Sempe said the increasing number of officials being shown the door is, in part, a reflection of the moral degeneration in our communities.

Bakili is being accused with Molebatsi Mogoera, Kagiso Chabane, Mojalefa Jali Molusi, Moeketsi Lesia, Clive Tshivenga Karabo Tau and Sizwe Mpati. They 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.