#PrellerSquareShooting: Policeman requested to destroy docket

Photo: WQIO
The latest witness in the murder trial of businessman, Louis Siemens, has divulged in the Free State High Court on Tuesday that two of the accused in the dock instructed him to sabotage an adjacent case to the murder by destroying the docket.

The seemingly nervous, albeit well-dressed witness – former policeman Molefi Koebu – was amongst the four people who were arrested on 19 August 2018 for kidnapping and assaulting two men in Botshabelo, three months after Siemens was killed in a separate matter. The semi-automatic pistol that was used to kill Siemens in the basement parking area of Preller Square Shopping Complex on 10 May 2018, was coincidentally recovered by police in this separate crime.

Koebu, a former member of the public order policing unit in Bloemfontein, explained to Judge Pitso Molitsoane that he, a man named ‘Diba’, as well as two of the accused in the Siemens murder – Karabo Tau and Sizwe Mpati – were arrested following a joy ride to Botshabelo more than 60km from Bloemfontein on the night of 18 August 2018. According to Koebu, the trip was initiated by disbarred advocate Tau who wanted to find the two people he alleged had previously stolen his two cell phones. While the men were arrested the following day and detained at the Grootvlei Prison for this crime, the kidnapping and assault charges were later dropped by the victims and the group was released from jail on 30 August 2018.

Shortly after their release from jail, Koebu underwent disciplinary procedures and was dismissed from the South African Police Service (SAPS) for his involvement in the crime. He says Tau and Mpati approached him about the case at the Heidedal police station in October 2018 as the group were fetching certain items that were taken from them during the previous kidnapping arrest. He says here they pressured him to try and get rid of the docket because no-one could find out about the gun that was used to kill Siemens. Koebu says he approached authorities thereafter and was informed the matter had been transferred to the organised crime unit.

The issue of the gun was again mentioned to Koebu in November 2018, after Mpati was called in for a chat with an investigator in the Siemens crime, Buyisile Jona.

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. Bakili is joined by Molebatsi Mogoera, Kagiso Chabane, Mojalefa “Jali” Molusi, Moeketsi Lesia, Clive Tshivenga, Karabo Tau, and Sizwe Mpati as the accused in the dock. 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.