#PrellerSquareShooting: Well-known soccer coach placed at accused’s meeting

The former Mthatha Bucks and Bloemfontein Celtic assistant coach, Duncan Lechesa, is revealed via CCTV footage to have briefly engaged two of the accused in the murder trial of Free State businessman, Louis Siemens on the eve of the 2018 murder.

Prosecutor Johan de Nysschen reveals during proceedings at the Bloemfontein High Court on Tuesday (12 November 2019) that while the state is not of the view that Lechesa was involved in the alleged plotting of the murder at Windmill Casino in Bloemfontein, that night in 2018, he will be called up by the state as a witness to testify on what he did hear that night.

Lechesa was identified in the CCTV footage by former Grootvlei Head and Mangaung Private prison adviser, Tatolo Setlai, while he was in the witness box. In the video, Lechesa, who is donning a red jacket, white shirt, and sneakers, is seen briefly talking to accused number one and six, Stanley Bakili and military man Clive Tshivenga. A third unnamed man can also be seen in the video.

Setlai, who describes himself as Bakili’s guardian, was testifying on the meeting at Windmill Casino on 9 May 2018, because he was present at the casino that night and witnessed the meeting from afar. The 64-year-old prison head further dealt the defence a blow by placing Bakili, Bayswater detective, Molebatsi Mogoera, Mojalefa ‘Jali’ Molusi, and Tshivenga together at the casino a few days preceding Siemens’ murder.

Lechesa’s statement was taken by the state a mere week before the murder trial began on (28 October 2019) a contributing factor to the three-day delay to the start of trial.

Setlai will continue his testimony when proceedings resume on Wednesday.

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 City Med’s hospital bed licence amended to allow for more beds, when they became estranged.

Some of these implicated officials include current Free State Health Department Head, David Motau, his former boss, Benny Malakoane, and Minister of Home Affairs, Aaron Motsoaledi.

OFM News/Olebogeng Motse and Lucky Nkuyane.