Investigating officer takes the stand in Siam Lee case

Siam Lee. (Image via Facebook)
Siam Lee. (Image via Facebook)

The investigating officer in the case of slain KwaZulu-Natal sex worker Siam Lee painted a grim picture of her accused murderer in the Durban Magistrate's Court on Thursday.

After being left tongue-tied earlier in the day by prosecutor Surekha Marimuthoo, Philani Ntuli's woes continued as detective Warrant Officer Rajan Govender, who is the investigating officer in the case, piled on more dirt.

According to Govender, Ntuli was found in possession of an illegal firearm and ammunition during his arrest.

He said the firearm belonged to a man, Msizi Cele who was shot and killed in his home in Malvern.

He added that a tracking report of Ntuli's black Mercedez Benz showed his vehicle at Lee's place of work on Margaret Maytom Road.

"The applicant was the deceased's last client shortly before her disappearance."

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

Govender said following Ntuli's arrest, more victims had come forward to report him. Ntuli chuckled when Govender made the allegation. However, Govender went on to list at least nine potential cases against Ntuli.

No stable businesses

The officer told the court it was vital to keep Ntuli behind bars.

"He may commit similar offences when out on bail. He has a tendency of committing crimes fraught with dishonesty. He would likely continue his fraudulent activities."

Govender added that there was no exceptional circumstance to warrant granting him bail. He said that while Ntuli bragged about being a businessman, "he has no stable businesses".

"For all, we know they are operating clandestinely. There is no property in his name other than land in Pietermaritzburg."

Govender also hinted that Ntuli could be a flight risk.  

"He has a passport but we have no sight of this. He has done business overseas before."

He added that Ntuli's release on bail could affect witnesses negatively.

"Should he be released on bail, witnesses may be reluctant to testify."

The matter continues on Friday.


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