The accused is bent on clearing his name and to live 'as a normal citizen'.
The man accused of the kidnapping and murder of 20-year-old Siam Lee took the stand in his bail application in the Durban Magistrate’s Court yesterday.
The man – who cannot be identified until he pleads because there is a count of rape against him – is applying for bail before Magistrate Mohammed Motala.
The rape charge is unrelated to Lee’s disappearance and murder.
Lee disappeared from her workplace – an alleged brothel – in Margaret Maytom Drive, Durban North, on the afternoon of January4.
Her burnt remains were found days later in a sugar cane field in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands.
During his testimony, the man, 29, said he elected not to give any evidence related to the merits of the case based on the instructions of his legal counsel.
He also said he intended pleading not guilty to all charges against him.
The accused alleged in his testimony that he had been assaulted by private investigators prior to being handed over to the police.
He said he was the director of two companies, with 17 employees, and was responsible for paying the school fees of his younger brother.
He said if given bail, he would stand trial as he had assets in the country and family responsibilities.
“I want to clear my name so I can live as a normal citizen. I have no intention of running away. I do not intend interfering with state witnesses.”
The man detailed how he was apprehended by private investigator Brad
Nathanson and his team at his home.
He said the team, who were armed, showed up at the property and demanded that he open his gate.
“I asked them what is going on, who are they? They told me to lie on the floor.”
He said Nathanson then came to handcuff him while he was lying on the ground.
“They manhandled me. They told me ‘you murdered Siam Lee’. I told them I had never murdered anyone in my life, nor the person they had mentioned.”
He alleged that he was punched by the investigators.
He said the investigators also searched his house, but did not show him a search warrant or ask for permission to do so.
The bail application continues. – Mercury Reporter