#PrellerSquareShooting: Mastermind and assassin’s fingerprints on getaway vehicle

Photo: WQIO
The Bloemfontein High Court has on Thursday morning, in the murder trial of businessman Louis Siemens, heard the fingerprints of the alleged mastermind and those of the assassin were recovered on the alleged getaway vehicle.

A member of the police’s Local Criminal Record Centre (LCRC), Sello Isaac Nape, testified that he was the official who collected evidence and took pictures on the crime scene and at accused number one’s townhouse in Lilyvale on 10 May 2018 – the day Siemens was shot and killed.

OFM News’ Olebogeng Motse reports Nape also managed to lift about nine sets of fingerprints on the vehicle, which were later tested by his supervisor, Captain Molefe Chomane.

The senior LCRC official determined that the fingerprints recovered at three different spots inside and outside the now-infamous Volkswagen Polo with CA registration number plates, belonged to accused number one and alleged mastermind, Stanley Bakili; accused number four, Mojalefa “Jali” Molusi; and the confessed assassin Xolisile “Botha” Mbebetho.

In reaction to this, Bakili’s legal counsel, Masilo Koenane, says it has been established that his client had experienced mechanical problems around the time of the murder and requested that accused number three, Kagiso Chabane rent the vehicle for him to use. Koenane says it is therefore not surprising that Bakili’s fingerprints were found on the vehicle.

Molusi’s legal counsel, Dawie Reyneke, says his client was known to have been a mechanic, specialising in VW vehicles, and also had a car wash, explaining how his set of fingerprints may have been found on that car.

Nape did not dispute the explanations, merely responding that he did not know if this was the case, as he merely collected the evidence.

Nape also collected evidence when the alleged firearm that was used to kill Siemens was found in accused 8, Sizwe Mpati’s BMW vehicle, while he was travelling with accused 7, Karabo Tau, on 16 August 2018, three months after the murder took place. Nape says the two men were arrested in Mackenzie Street in the East End Business Park. He testifies that he packaged the firearm and the magazine with 16 rounds of ammunition on the day.

As already reported, Siemens was shot and killed on 10 May 2018 in the basement parking area of Preller Square Shopping Complex. It is alleged the deceased was paying bribes to government officials through Bakili to have CityMed’s hospital bed licence amended to allow for more beds, when the business partnership soured.

So far in the four-week trial, Free State Health MEC Benny Malakoane, former Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi, current Head of the Provincial Health Department, David Motau, and member of the provincial department’s licensing committee, Charity ‘Pinky’ Belot, have testified they did not receive any bribes from Bakili or Siemens.

Bakili, Molebatsi Mogoera, Chabane, Molusi, Moeketsi Lesia, Clive Tshivenga Tau, and Mpati are the eight men standing trial. 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.