#PrellerSquareShooting: Siemens murder trial gains momentum

The trial against alleged mastermind, Stanley Bakili, and seven others for the murder of CityMed MD, Louis Siemens, and various other charges – including extortion – is steadily gaining momentum.

So far 10 of the more than 50 state witnesses have taken to the witness box – this includes some high profile witnesses thought to be linked with the case, such as former Health and current Home Affairs Minister, Aaron Motsoaledi.

The case, taking place in the Free State High Court in Bloemfontein, has entered its fourth week. So far state prosecutor, Johan de Nysschen, has been laying the groundwork for the series of events that led to the murder of Siemens on 10 May 2018, including the role of all the accused suspects.

Bakili is accused of organising a hit on Siemens after their business transaction and relationship soured.

Among those who have taken to the witness stand include a former waiter at Annies Kitchen, Ohiliseng Selemale, a former head of Grootvlei Prison, Tatolo Setlai, a former FS Health MEC, Benny Malakoane, and Senior Health Department official, Pinkey Belot.

Magistrate, Pitso Molitsoane, on Monday postponed the matter until today, after a Pretoria-based forensic science laboratory officer, Johanna Richter, testified on the murder weapon that allegedly killed Siemens.

Richter told De Nysschen that the serial number of the gun was removed with a grinder to hinder any possible tracing of the weapon.

A disbarred advocate, Karabo Tau, and former SAPS IT technician, Sizwe Mpati, allegedly used the same gun in a separate crime later that year in August.

SAPS data analyst, Warrant Officer Karin Jacobs, previously mentioned Tau in her testimony, as one of a handful of people Bakili contacted numerous times via cell phone on the day of the murder.

As already reported, Siemens was shot and killed in the basement parking area of the Preller Square Shopping Complex.

It is alleged the deceased was paying bribes to government officials through accused number one, Stanley Bakili, to have CityMed’s hospital bed licence amended to allow for more beds.

Bakili joins Molebatsi Mogoera, Kagiso Chabane, Mojalefa Jali Molusi, Moeketsi Lesia, Clive Tshivenga Karabo Tau and Sizwe Mpati in the dock.