Durban – A Free State High Court indictment has revealed how a Bloemfontein doctor was killed after he had reneged on continuing to pay bribes to people alleged to be connected to the ANC.
The revelations were made amid speculation that a Johannesburg-based weekly newspaper was preparing to publish a story linking ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule to the murder of Dr Louis Siemens in May last year. The matter also involved the provincial Health Department.
According to court papers signed by Free State National Prosecuting Authority acting deputy director DJ Pretorius on October 16, Siemens, a director at a private City Med Hospital, was gunned down at Preller Plein shopping complex in Bloemfontein on May 10. His death had been linked to extortion and bribery scandals connected to the operation of his hospital.
Magashule’s name was not listed among the eight accused.
According News24, one of the accused, Kibi Stanley Bakili, listed as number one on the indictment, was the doctor’s business associate. Other accused were police constables Kagiso Chabane and Molebatsi Mogoera and IT technician Sizwe Mpati.
It was revealed that Siemens had applied to the provincial Department of Health seeking to alter his hospital’s operating licence to increase the number of beds. It is alleged Bakili told Siemens to pay him R650 000 for his application to be successful.
“The deceased paid this amount in cash to accused 1 shortly after their first meeting. Thereafter, accused 1 frequently demanded more monies to be paid by the deceased,” read the papers.
Siemens ended up paying R6.5 million and, according to papers, some of the money was shared with “various role-players”.
The court papers said it was not clear why Siemens had been killed, “but it was assumed the relationship soured and the deceased became reluctant to make further payments”.
“Whether the deceased threatened to spill the beans is pure speculation, but what is clear is that accused 1 and 6 considered the deceased to be a threat and they have decided to eliminate the deceased,” the indictment read.
“Accused 1 and 6 (Clive Mandeni Tshivenga) involved several other people to have the deceased murdered.
“Accused 4 (Mojalefa Molosi) (already convicted) and Xolisile Mbebetho were hired as hit men. They both agreed against payment of R200 000,” states the indictment.
In response to speculation that there had been a plan to link him to the murder, Magashule told Independent Media that through the indictment it was clear that he was not involved in Siemens’s murder.
“Where do I feature here? It’s time South Africa sees politics for what it is.
“Some people are trying to attach this to me for fear of what will happen in the days to come.
“It’s preposterous to think that a media organisation can run a political campaign. Nothing will stop me from the goal of RET (radical economic transformation),” said Magashule.
Political analyst Thando Dotyeni said he could “smell a disinformation campaign” against Magashule.
“A murder investigation belongs to the SAPS or the Hawks. If a journalist claims he or she has information on a murder but does not want to submit that evidence to the police, it may seem like an imaginary story.
“If the (newspaper) has such information, they should hand it to the authorities. If they just want to make a headline from Magashule’s response, then maybe he is correct that there is a political campaign against him,” said Dotyeni.
It is believed that people close to the case have leaked the journalists’ questions and the indictment.
The State has 52 witnesses.