7 March 2018

South Africa: Pi Company Under Scrutiny in Siam Lee Accused Bail Application

The manner in which a private investigations company arrested an accused in the Siam Lee murder case took centre stage on the first day of the accused's bail application in the Durban Magistrate's Court on Monday.

Magistrate Mahommed Motala banned private investigator Brad Nathanson and anyone from his company from attending the proceedings, because they were witnesses.

Lee's burnt body was found in a sugarcane field in New Hanover after she had gone missing early in January.

The accused cannot be identified because he has not yet pleaded. He faces charges 16 charges, including rape, murder and kidnapping.

In court on Monday, the accused's legal representative Martin Krog, kept his focus on the arrest of his client and drilled holes in the procedure the private company used to make the "arrest".

It was widely publicised that Nathanson and his team had made the arrest in the case.

The accused told the court that he had returned home from Johannesburg when he was confronted by Nathanson, Nathanson's wife and Nathanson's associate Wayne Britz.

He said he had arrived home in a hired car on January 17 to find a Mercedes Vito parked in his garage was missing.

As he tried to get his cellphone from his car, a gold Toyota Fortuner pulled up.

"A white gentleman, whom I now know as Brad Nathanson, stepped out, pointed a gun at me and his immediate words were: 'Open the gate, motherfucker'."

'Lay down flat on the floor'

The accused claimed that Britz also got out his car and pointed a firearm at him.

"After Britz got out, Britz said: 'If you don't open this fucking gate, I will shoot you'. Fearing for my life, I opened the gate. They then told me to come forward. I walked towards them. I asked them what is the point, who are they, what is going on. They said: 'Lay down flat on the floor'. Nathanson came to handcuff me."

Krog then presented the court with a picture of the arrest that Nathanson had posted on his Facebook page.

"It is clear that you can see my client's face in the picture. He is posing for it," Krog said.

Krog's client said Nathanson and Britz "manhandled" him and moved him toward his house.

"They then told me: 'You murdered Siam Lee'. I said I never murdered anyone in my life or the person mentioned. They said again: 'Motherfucker, you killed Siam Lee and you better start talking or we will fuck you up'."

Both Britz and Nathanson choked and punched him, he testified.

"They were in my house and I could hear them calling out to search here and there."

Krog replied: "So they searched your house without asking you?"

He replied: "Yes."

The bail application continues.

Source: News24

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