ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule. Picture: Courtney Africa/African News Agency(ANA)

Johannesburg - ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule has distanced himself from allegations linking him to a murder of Free State doctor who was allegedly killed after reneging from paying a kickback to certain party members. 

The allegations against Magashule were contained in an email that the City Press had recently sent to Magashule, wanting him to explain his involvement in the murder Dr Louis Siemens in May last year.

Magashule’s name was not listed among eight accused in Siemens’ murder, which happened at Preller Plein shopping complex in Bloemfontein on May 10. 

Magashule said the Sunday newspaper is being used to assassinate his character. 

"The City Press is used by certain pockets and factions of our society to take a stand against radical economic transformation. 

“This campaign against me will not prosper. We will deliver RET to black people. Whether they like it or not,” Magashule told Independent Media on Friday. 

According to the court papers, Siemens was a businessman and director of a private City Med Hospital. He had approached the Free State Department of Health asking for the hospital’s operating license to be altered in order to increase the number of beds.

The indictment revealed that after Siemens had filed the application to alter the license, he was approached by accused number one, whose name appeared on the papers, looking for a bribe in exchange for the new license. 

“At first, accused 1 demanded an amount of R650 000. The deceased paid this amount in cash to accused 1, shortly after their first meeting. 

“Thereafter accused 1 frequently demanded more monies to be paid over by the deceased,” read the papers.

Siemens ended up paying a total of R6.5 million and according to papers, some of the money was shared with “various role players”. 

The court papers said it was not clear why exactly was Siemens killed “but it was assumed that the relationship soured and that the deceased became reluctant to make further payments”.

“Whether the deceased threatened to spill the beans is pure speculation, but what is clear is that accused 1 and 6 considered the deceased to be a threat and they have decided to eliminate the deceased,”  the papers read. 

Magashule told Independent Media that through the indictment it was clear that he was not involved in Siemens’ murder.

"Where do I feature here? It's time South Africa sees politics for what it is. 

“Some people are trying to attach this to me for fear of what will happen in the days to come. It's preposterous to think that a media organisation can run a political campaign. Nothing will stop me from the goal of RET,” said Magashule.

Political analyst Thando Dotyeni said he could smell disinformation campaign against Magashule. 

"A murder investigation belongs to the SAPS or the Hawks. If a journalist ask claims he or she has information on a murder but does not want to submit that evidence to the police it may seem like an imaginary story. 

“If the City Press has such information they should hand it to the authorities. If they just want to make a headline from Magashule's response then maybe he is correct that there is a political campaign against him,” said Dotyeni.  

It is believed that people close to the case have leaked the journalists questions and the indictment.  

The state had 52 witnesses. 

Political Bureau