Siam Lee's mother cries as details of her daughter's murder emerge in court

2018-11-14 15:33
Siam Lee's mother Carmen Nans Lee. (Mxolisi Mngadi, News24)

Siam Lee's mother Carmen Nans Lee. (Mxolisi Mngadi, News24)

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Carmen Nans Lee, the mother of murdered sex worker Siam Lee, wept uncontrollably in the Durban Magistrate's Court on Wednesday when she heard details of how her daughter was killed.

The details emerged when the State served murder accused Philani Ntuli with an indictment.

The court heard that Ntuli had burnt Lee alive in New Hanover on the morning of January 6 this year.

"On arrival in the vicinity of the Smidtshoek Farm, New Hanover, in the early morning hours of January 6, 2018, the accused removed the deceased from the vehicle, threw her into a sugarcane field, doused her with petrol and set her alight," according to the indictment which was read out in court by prosecutor Surekha Marimuthu.

Lee, 20, died at the scene and her burnt remains were discovered later that day, according to the indictment.

The post-mortem revealed the cause of death as a haemorrhage from head injuries, as well as 90% burns with charring of tissues, the court heard.

Lee's mother Carmen told journalists afterwards that she felt "blindsided" by the details of her child's death.

"I wasn't expecting to hear it today, so I felt really blindsided. But I needed to hear it at some point. I saw her remains. She was burnt beyond recognition," she said.

Ntuli allegedly kidnapped Lee on January 4, while she was outside her place of work on Margaret Mayton Avenue in Durban North.


Lost control of vehicle

Although Ntuli had been a previous client of Lee, on or around January 4, she no longer wished to have any contact with him, the court heard.

He kept Lee captive at his home in Hillcrest until midnight on January 5, when he decided it was time to kill her, the indictment read.

Ntuli faces a string of charges: assault, crimen injuria, robbery, intimidation, kidnapping, rape, reckless or negligent driving, failing to stop and render assistance at an accident scene, fraud, murder and unlawful possession of firearm and ammunition.

Ntuli allegedly failed to control his vehicle, a black Mercedes-Benz Viano, when he fled with Lee on January 4.

He collided with another vehicle driven by Brett Challenger in the vicinity of the Margaret Mayton Avenue and Hinton Road intersection.

"Despite both the vehicles sustaining damages as a result of the collision, the accused failed to stop and continued to speed off notwithstanding the fact that Brett Challenger was in pursuit."

ALSO READ: Court hears of accused's history of abuse against women

He successfully evaded Challenger and fled to his residence in Hillcrest.

The court heard that, on January 9, Ntuli contacted OUTsurance to lodge a claim in respect of damages to his car "in an accident on January 8 in Cato Ridge".

Facing more charges

The said damages were sustained on January 4 in Durban North, according to the indictment.

During Ntuli's arrest at his residence on January 17, the firearm and ammunition were recovered.

The court heard that, on March 21, 2016, Ntuli allegedly forced another sex worker at gunpoint from Escombe to his residence in Hillcrest, where he held her captive.

He then allegedly raped her. He allegedly also called her a "white racist cunt".

Ntuli also allegedly robbed the women of her two cellphones.

He also faces charges relating to the assault of his ex-fiance, Lucky Mthembu, on June 6, 2015, at his residence.

Ntuli is out on bail of R40 000. One of his bail conditions is that he reports to a police station three times a week. His lawyer's application to relax that condition for him to report to the police station just once a week was refused.

He will now appear in the Durban High Court on March 11, 2019.

Read more on:    siam lee  |  durban  |  crime
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