The case regarding the murder of Bloemfontein businessman, Louis Siemens, has exposed what is alleged to be a web of organised crime in the Mangaung area.
This was revealed during a testimony by the South African Police Service’s crime analyst in the Free State, Karin Jacobs, during bail application proceedings for disbarred advocate, Karabo Tau (41), and Information Technology technician, Sizwe Mpati (36). The two men have been indirectly linked to the murder of Siemens, who was assassinated in the basement parking area of Preller Square in May 2018. They are alleged to have used the same gun that was used to murder the City Med Managing Director, in a separate crime months later.
During Jacobs’ testimony on the latter crime, she revealed that the two co-accused allegedly drove to Botshabelo where they kidnapped two residents in the area, assaulted them and then robbed them of money. Tau and Mpati ended up driving back to Bloemfontein with one of the victims in the car boot and were arrested for the crime in Heidedal on August 18 after police received a tip-off.
The analyst provided reasons why the accused should not be released on bail. These reasons included Tau not having a permanent address or place of employment, the fact that the Botshabelo kidnapping case was premeditated, the firearm being found in the accused’s possession, connections to businessman and accused number one in the Siemens case, Stanley Bakili, and their alleged involvement in other criminal activities in Mangaung.
Jacobs’ further alluded to a criminal underworld in the area by using an intricate mind map that was projected on a screen in court to illustrate the connections between some of Bloemfontein’s most high profile cases and certain individuals. Some of these high profile cases include the murder of an investigating officer, a 2017 cash-in-transit heist and an attempted robbery at a food retailer in Middestad.
Even convicted Danish citizen and former Bloemfontein gun dealer, Peter Frederiksen, was mentioned in Jacobs’ web. She stated that the man hired by Frederiksen to orchestrate the murder of the Danish citizen’s wife, Tshidi in Lesotho, forms a part of this underworld. The analyst revealed that the mind map had been completed off of two years’ worth of work and only covered the Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality area, “we haven’t even started talking about the province”, she cautioned.
The defence was unable to conduct cross-examinations following Prosecutor Johan De Nysschen’s interaction with Jacobs, due to a lack of time. After much back and forth regarding available dates for all the legal practitioners, the court eventually got everyone to agree on the afternoon of February 21. Many of the accused’s friends and families were disappointed with the postponement and continued to express their frustrations after proceedings had ended.
Lucky Nkuyane, Sazly Hartzenberg & Olebogeng Motse / OFM News