Headlines

Ace Not Charged Over Siemens Murder

  • Alleges media agenda to discredit, tarnish his name
  • Vows to purse radical economic transformation

A Free State High Court indictment on the controversial death of a famous local doctor and director at City Med last year has exposed a web of concocted lies over ANC secretary general Ace Magashule’s involvement.

Some sections of the national media have gone on to write or consider running make-believe stories of the veteran politician’s imminent arrest over the matter.

However the indictment has left such media with egg on the face as it does not mention Magashule in any manner or form. It only speaks of eight suspects who are currently behind docks while others are going through court.

Prominent doctor Louise Siemens was shot and killed at Preller Plein Mall in Bloemfontein on May 10, 2018.

His death has been linked to extortion and bribery scandals connected to the operation of his hospital.

The City Press apparently intended running a story linking Magashule to the murder last week, based on some supposed counter intelligence document by one of the accused in the murder.

In a swift response to the newspaper probing him on his alleged involvement, Magashule issued a statement rubbishing the insinuation as part of a greater media agenda against him.

“The journalist, Sipho Masondo, claims that the said document implicates a former provincial premier, a serving national minister, MEC’s of health and managers within the (Free State) provincial department of health in the murder of Dr. Siemens,” noted Magashule.

“I attach the said questions in this media release for the public to see what I have always been complaining about. These fake news are peddled against me in order to tarnish my dignity and reputation in a coordinated and concerted effort,” he claimed.

The former Free State premier reminded South Africans of an opinion piece by Oscar Van Herdeen in the Daily Maverick recently, detailing his imagined arrested at home by the Hawks by December (next month).

“The article was crafted in such a manner that even the SABC’s Chriselda Lewis was quoted as observing my alleged arrest by the Hawks. These were all fake news,” he pointed out.

Magashule said he is now certain that the rank and file of the ANC are able to see the decoy crafted from the proven evidence of political meddling at the Nasrec elective conference of the ruling party in 2017, adding he is appalled that some people are using state resources for factional political battles.

“I condemn this fake news with the contempt that it deserves. I am also aware that there are rogue elements within the South African Police Services who are used not only to tarnish the entire police force, but also to sow divisions within the ANC.”

A disappointed Magashule vowed to get to the bottom of the matter and not to let it slide, announcing he has instructed his lawyers to lodge complaints with the office of the National Commissioner of Police as well as the Office of the Inspector General of Intelligence.

He called for a full investigation to unmask those peddling lies with the aim of destroying the unity of the ANC.

He also accused his detractors of planting false perceptions in the public’s mind depicting the leadership of the ANC as ‘criminals who maim and kill for political survival’.

The ANC would not be deterred from its goals to pursue radical social and economic transformation for the liberation of the people bondaged by apartheid.

“I am disappointed that Sipho Masondo of the City Press will ask me these undermining and ridiculous questions as an investigative journalist that he is known to be, whilst the criminal matter for the murder of Dr. Siemens is currently underway in the High Court,” said Magashule.

Masondo, he indicated, should have attended the trial to obtain facts from relevant authorities instead of being used as “an agent to peddle lies and cast aspersions”.

The secretary general pledged to assist authorities to investigate any crime committed here and abroad to uncover the truth.

He expressed confidence that after the trial his complaints would be investigated and the ‘true villains and counter revolutionaries’ exposed for all and sundry to see.

“I have no intention to breathe oxygen into this rubbish. The agent provocateurs are desperately and pathetically looking for a needle in a haystack. Lies have short legs; the truth shall prevail,” he said.

The former ANC provincial chairperson reiterated that after the court indictment showed he is not under investigation, some people were still trying to attach Siemens’ murder to him 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 radical economic transformation,” noted Magashule.

Kibi Stanley Bakili, listed as number one on the indictment, was Siemens’ business associate. Other accused are police constables Kagiso Chabane and Molebatsi Mogoera and IT technician Sizwe Mpati.

Court papers show Siemens had applied to the provincial Department of Health seeking to alter his hospital’s operating licence to increase the number of beds.

Allegations are that 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 allegedly ended up paying R6.5 million and some of the money was shared with “various role-players”.

By: Ramosidi Matekane