CentralSA#PrellerSquareShooting: Trial to drag beyond 2021
─── LUCKY NKUYANE 06:08 Thu, 14 Jan 2021
The murder trial of CityMed Managing Director Louis Siemens, who was gunned down in broad daylight in 2018 in the basement parking of Preller Square, is expected to drag beyond 2021.
This is due to several factors, including a long list of state witnesses expected to be called forward.
State prosecutor Johan de Nysschen on Tuesday, during an inquiry into Section 49(G) of the Correctional Services Act 111 of 1998, where four of the eight suspects argued for their release from detention, said more witnesses are still to be called.
De Nysschen told Judge Pitso Molitsoane, who has been presiding over the trial since October 2019, that at least 14 witnesses are set to take the stand.
So far 24 witnesses including the confessed shooter, Xolisile Botha Mbebetho, have been called to give an account of their version of the events.
The trial has been postponed to April 2021, but Molitsoane is also expected to deliver his verdict on the outcomes of the Section 49(G) inquiry on Wednesday 20 January.
The defence advocates have also indicated that some of the accused will have to take to the stand. They say this has the potential to prolong the proceedings. They were arguing that indications are that the trial might not be concluded this year, as anticipated.
Eight men stand accused of Siemens' murder. They include alleged murder mastermind Stanley Bakili, Bloemfontein's Bayswater police detective Molebatsi Mogoera, court orderly Kagiso Chabane, and former SANDF member Clive Tshivenga, the repeat offender Mojalefa Jali Molusi, police captain Moeketsi Lesia, disbarred advocate Karabo Tau, and Information Technology specialist Sizwe Mpati.