Siam Lee ac­cused ‘also raped me’

Sunday Tribune - - FRONT PAGE - NABEELAH SHAIKH

AN­OTHER woman has come for­ward, claim­ing to have been raped by the man ac­cused of ab­duct­ing and mur­der­ing Dur­ban North woman Siam Lee.

The ac­cused, a 29-year-old As­sagay busi­ness­man, is ex­pected to ap­pear in the Dur­ban Mag­is­trate’s Court this week for the re­sump­tion of his for­mal bail hear­ing.

The al­leged rape vic­tim, 28, claims to have been a for­mer em­ployee of the ac­cused. The al­leged rape oc­curred six years ago. The Johannesburg woman said she was locked in a room and re­peat­edly raped by the busi­ness­man who is now ac­cused of Lee’s mur­der.

She added that she was “too scared to open a case” at the time, but now felt more con­fi­dent that the man had been ar­rested and charged with Lee’s mur­der and an­other rape.

“I hid this in­side for years,” said the woman, who tried to open a case in Cen­tu­rion this week.

“I was asked to write a state­ment, com­mis­sion it and send it to Mr Goven­der (the in­ves­ti­gat­ing of­fi­cer in the Siam Lee mur­der case).”

The bail ap­pli­ca­tion in the mur­der case re­sumes in Dur­ban this week. The ac­cused is charged with the ab­duc­tion and mur­der of Lee, who was al­legedly a sex worker at a house in Dur­ban North.

She was re­ported miss­ing on Jan­uary 4 and her charred re­mains dis­cov­ered on a farm in New Hanover, KZN, two days later.

This week, the al­leged rape vic­tim said she met the ac­cused in 2012, while work­ing at a telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions com­pany.

“He would of­ten visit the com­pany to pur­chase stock from us. He took my de­tails and called me, say­ing that he had a job of­fer for me. He told me he was open­ing a telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions com­pany in Dur­ban and wanted me to work for him,” said the woman.

She claimed the ac­cused paid for her flight, after which she re­lo­cated to Dur­ban.

“I started to work for him at his com­pany in Kloof. After six months, he told me that the com­pany was not per­form­ing well and he had to let me go,” said the woman.

She said she was up­set be­cause she had left a sta­ble job in Joburg and re­lo­cated be­cause of the ac­cused’s prom­ises.

“I re­turned to Joburg and a few months later, I re­ceived a call from him (the ac­cused) again. He called to let me know that he had scored a big gov­ern­ment tender and that he had an­other job for me. He said I should re­turn to Dur­ban. He would pay for my flight and we could dis­cuss the job,” claimed the woman.

She said that when she ar­rived in Dur­ban a few days later, the ac­cused fetched her from the air­port.

“He drove me to his home, it was TIME­LINE

Lee was ab­ducted on Jan­uary 4 from an al­leged brothel on Margaret May­tom Av­enue.

Her body was found two days later, on Jan­uary 6, on a farm in New Hanover, in the KZN Mid­lands.

A 29-year-old As­sagay busi­ness­man was ar­rested for her mur­der on Jan­uary 17.

He was charged with 16 counts, in­clud­ing mur­der, rape, fraud and kid­nap­ping.

He made his first ap­pear­ance in the Dur­ban Mag­is­trate’s Court on Jan­uary 22, where he spoke of be­ing tor­tured in po­lice cus­tody.

The ac­cused ap­peared in the Dur­ban Mag­is­trate’s Court on March 7 and 8 for a for­mal bail hear­ing.

The bail ap­pli­ca­tion was ad­journed to April 17, 19 and 20.

He re­mains be­hind bars at the Westville Prison.

The ac­cused had pre­vi­ous charges against him, which have now come be­fore court.

In 2015, he was charged by his ex-fi­ancee, a for­mer beauty queen, with at­tempted mur­der, in­tim­i­da­tion and crimen in­juria.

In 2016, he was charged with rape, kid­nap­ping and crimen in­juria by an­other woman.

In 2017, the ac­cused’s ex-fi­ancee wrote to then po­lice min­is­ter, Fik­ile Mbalula, to in­ves­ti­gate the cases she had brought against him.

some­where around the Hillcrest area. When we got to his home, he locked the doors and said that I had been dis­re­spect­ful to­wards him, that he would rape me and then kill me,” said the woman.

She al­leged that she was then locked in one of the rooms, where he raped her con­tin­u­ally.

“He even­tu­ally left the house. I heard the car leave. I was look­ing for ways to es­cape. I found a pocket knife and used it to un­screw a bur­glar guard then opened a win­dow and es­caped,” said the woman.

She said she ap­proached a nearby se­cu­rity guard for help.

“We called 112 and we went to the po­lice. They picked me up and we drove around, try­ing to find the house. The po­lice went in­side and no­body was there. They saw sex toys in the house and then we left. I was too trau­ma­tised and asked them to take me to my friend’s house in umlazi,” claimed the woman.

She said she re­turned to Joburg the next day and sev­ered all ties with him, but did not open a case, fear­ing he would come after her.

Mean­while, sup­port­ers on a so­cial me­dia group called #Jus­tice­for­siam have been cam­paign­ing that the ac­cused not be granted bail.

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