The man accused of abducting and murdering KwaZulu-Natal woman Siam Lee is to appear in the Durban North Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday for the continuation of his drawn-out bail hearing.
The man cannot be named because one of the 16 charges he faces is an unrelated rape and the law stipulates that he can only be identified once he pleads.
He was arrested at his Hillcrest home two weeks after Lee, 20, was allegedly abducted outside the “brothel” in Margaret Maytom Drive, where she had apparently worked with her mother since matriculating at a local private school.
Her burnt body was discovered in the Midlands and was initially identified through a lip ring and toenail varnish.
The man faces a number of charges including murder, kidnapping, the unlawful possession of a firearm, the unlawful possession of ammunition, reckless or negligent driving, failing to perform the duties of a driver after an accident, defeating or obstructing the course of justice and fraud.
In his evidence during the bail hearing before Durban Magistrate Mohamed Motala, the man said he intended to plead not guilty to the charges. He would not go into the merits of the case.
It is alleged that he kidnapped Lee on January 4 and threatened to shoot her, according to the charge sheet.
He was arrested two weeks later after her charred body was discovered in a sugarcane field by a farmer in New Hanover.
He claimed that he was tortured in the Durban North police station holding cells since his arrest.
“I’ve been sleeping on a mat for two weeks and I’ve been tortured (suffocated) with a plastic bag. I’ve suffered enough at Durban North. I want to at least go to Westville, where I could get a better sleep,” he said.
The man was later moved to Westville Prison.