#PrellerSquareShooting: Witness accused of giving misleading testimony

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The defence in the murder trial of Bloemfontein businessman, Louis Siemens, has not only accused the longest standing witness in the box so far of misremembering key details in his testimony, but of also lying under oath.

During proceedings in the Bloemfontein High Court, Dawie Reyneke, representing accused number four in the trial, Mojalefa ‘Jali’ Molusi, repeatedly pointed out discrepancies between Tatolo Setlai’s written statement dated 12 November 2018, and his oral testimony during trial.

Reyneke attributes these inconsistencies to a foggy memory on the part of the 65-year-old witness and used this to support the assertion that Setlai was mistaken when he placed Molusi alongside accused number one and two, Stanley Bakili, and Bayswater detective, Molebatsi Mogoera, at Ocean Basket located on the grounds of Windmill Casino in Bloemfontein four days prior to Siemens’ murder.

Setlai refutes the assertion, adding that Molusi was accompanied by two women to this dinner at Ocean Basket and he remembers him being present quite clearly. Reyneke tells the former prison head that his testimony provided the investigators with some indication as to who Bakilli’s accomplices were.

Mphafolane Koma, representing accused number six, Clive Tshivenga, pointed out more discrepancies between Setlai’s testimony and his statement but went further than Reyneke, accusing the witness of deliberately misleading the court with his evidence.

As already reported, Siemens, the then Managing Director of Citymed Day Hospital, 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 the business partnership soured. Bakili, Mogoera, Molusi, and Tshivenga join Kagiso Chabane, Moeketsi Lesia, Karabo Tau and Sizwe Mpati in the dock. 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.

OFM News/OLEBOGENG MOTSE