Moepi murder accused remains in custody

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Johannesburg -

It was a quick appearance lasting no more than a few minutes.

The man arrested at the weekend in connection with the murder of forensic auditor Lawrence Moepi appeared in the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court on Monday morning.

Remember Siphoro was wearing a black leather jacket and waved at some people in the gallery, but in a case where police initially said they were looking for four suspects, Siphoro stood alone in the dock.

Moepi was gunned down outside the Houghton offices of auditors SizweNtsalubaGobodo on October 18.

It was quickly labelled a hit in the media: Moepi was said to be investigating a number of sensitive and high-profile cases, one of them the controversial and undervalued sale of Cosatu’s headquarters in Braamfontein.

He was also reportedly handling investigations for Public Protector Thuli Madonsela.

Police said Moepi was followed to work by a group of men in a VW Golf and shot as he climbed out of his car.

Siphoro’s was the first arrest after more than a month of investigations.

The 42-year-old was arrested on Saturday in Mofolo, Soweto. He faces charges of murder and assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm.

On Monday, the State asked that Siphoro be kept in custody in the Germiston police cells until he appears in court next week while further investigations continue.

His defence did not oppose this.

Provincial police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Lungelo Dlamini said no other arrests had been made, but police were already following some leads.

The case continues next week.

The Association of Public Accounts Committees (Apac) welcomed the arrest.

“Apac wishes to urge the law enforcement agencies to strengthen their machinery to ensure that all those members of audit institutions who are specialising in forensic investigations do not become victims of harassment and death,” said Apac general secretary Hlomane Chauke.

“We wish to further encourage all our audit institutions to do all necessary measures in ensuring the safety of their staff, especially those attached to forensic investigation projects.”

The Star

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