#PrellerSquareShooting trial postponed unexpectedly

Free State High Court in Bloemfontein. PHOTO: FILE
The murder trial of Bloemfontein businessman and former CityMed Managing Director Louis Siemens in the Bloemfontein High Court has been postponed again unexpectedly.

OFM News reports that, Judge Pitso Molitsoane informed the court that one of the advocates representing an accused in the murder trial is claiming ill health and was booked off for Monday by his medical doctor. Molitsoane then postponed the matter to Tuesday. This just when the trial gained momentum last week with the state’s star witness, Xolisile Botha Mbebeto, who wrapped up his fiery testimony and was grilled in cross-examination.

It’s not yet clear if the trial will push ahead until the state closes its case against murder-accused Stanley Bakili and seven others for the murder of Siemens. On Tuesday Advocate Masilo Koenane, who represents Bakili, is expected to continue where he left off with his cross-examination of the confessed shooter last week.

Mbebeto has admitted that his testimony against Bakili and others is driven by bitterness. He told Advocate Koenane that had Bakili stuck to his promises and paid him his R200 000, he wouldn’t be giving testimony in court. During cross-examination, Mbebeto explained that Bakili’s failure to pay him had serious implications on his standing within his 26 gang group.

OFM News previously reported that the trial was brought to a halt for a week after a revelation that one person, prominently involved in the trial, came into contact with a Covid-19 positive patient.

The trial is expected to continue on Tuesday.