#PrellerSquareShooting: Five-week murder trial to begin in October

The official starting date for the High Court trial into the murder of well-known Bloemfontein businessman, Louis Siemens, has been set for 29 October 2019.

It was revealed in the Free State High Court that the trial is expected to run for at least five weeks, beginning in late October. The eight men accused of playing various roles in planning and carrying out the murder, reappeared before Judge President Cagney Musi today, to determine if their respective legal counsels had accessed a copy of the finalised indictment timeously. This was not the case and the pre-trial proceedings were again postponed to July 29.

Siemens, the then Managing Director of the day hospital, City Med, was gunned down and killed in the basement parking area of Preller Square in May 2018.

A total of nine people were arrested in connection with the murder that made media headlines. The man who pulled the trigger that ended the businessman’s life, Xolisile Mbebetho, has already been convicted and turned state witness after confessing to the crime. The remaining men on trial for the murder are Stanley Bakili, Mogoera Molebatsi, Kagiso Chabane, Mojalefa Jali Molusi, Moeketsi Lesia, Karabo Tau, Sizwe Mpati and Clive Tshivenga. 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. The state is expected to present a list of over 50 people that will be called to testify during the trial.

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

OFM News/Lucky Nkuyane and Olebogeng Motse