Siam Lee accused 'also raped me'
DURBAN - 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 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.
* 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.