News24.com | Purported recording of PI played in bail hearing of Siam Lee murder accused

Brad Nathanson Investigations again became a focal point in the long, drawn-out bail application of the man accused of the murder of Durban North sex worker Siam Lee.

The bail application of Philani Ntuli has entered its third month in the Durban Magistrate‘s Court, after beginning in March.

On Wednesday, defence lawyer Martin Krog continued his cross-examination of investigating officer Detective Warrant Officer Rajan Govender.

Krog played a recording, in which a male could be heard describing how Ntuli confessed to being a serial rapist, while “a Kentucky (KFC) bag was put over his head”.

It is the defence‘s case that the male voice belonged to Natahanson and that the recording was evidence of torture.

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Prosecutor Roshiela Benimadho, who was standing in for a colleague, objected and questioned the authenticity of the evidence.

“We do not know the origin of the clip. It has not been established who the person in the clip is referring to or if they are even referring to the accused.”

However, Magistrate Mahomed Motala allowed the recording and said its authenticity would be debated at trial level.

Krog also questioned whether Govender had asked Nathanson about the recording.

Govender replied: “I did, and he said that he made many recordings.”

Krog said that according to the defence, it was “clearly Nathanson in the tape”.

“I will put to you that this is indeed Nathanson. I will prove that this recording is indeed him.”

Magistrate dishes out warning

During proceedings, Ntuli was also warned about his conduct during Govender‘s cross-examination.

After a series of smirks and smiles during the officer‘s questioning, Govender mentioned it to the court.

“Your worship, please can the accused be warned. He is laughing and smiling.”

Motala obliged, giving Ntuli a stern warning.

“I understand you may not like some of the answers. I understand you have your point of view, but these are formal proceedings, and distractions on the witness are not in anyone‘s interest, including yours. Refrain from smirking and making any sort of gestures.”

Ntuli is accused of murdering and kidnapping Lee. Her body was discovered earlier this year in a field in New Hanover.

The case continues on Friday.

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