Suspect in Siam Lee murder case makes second appearance in court
Philani Gift Ntuli is due to appear in the Durban Magistrate’s Court on Friday for the abduction and murder of Siam Lee last month.
The 29-year-old businessman faces a raft of charges‚ including murder‚ kidnapping and fraud.
This will be Ntuli’s second appearance since his arrest two weeks after he is alleged to have orchestrated Lee’s disappearance.
The prime suspect‚ a well-known figure in the petro-chemical industry‚ was apprehended by private investigator Brad Nathanson‚ who was commissioned to investigate Lee's disappearance and murder by paternal family in Australia.
Lee had last been seen on January 4‚ outside a Durban North house that was operating as a brothel. While the search for her spanned the province‚ the charred remains of a woman were found in a sugarcane field in New Hanover two days later.
The charred remains were later positively identified as the 20-year-old by her relatives‚ although DNA tests to unequivocally identify her have not yet been completed by police.
In the wake of Nathanson’s swoop on the suspect’s Assagay home‚ west of Durban‚ police confirmed that a gun as well as the car understood to have been used in Lee’s alleged abduction had been recovered.
His court appearance is expected to draw a crowd‚ with social media groups dedicated to the murdered escort organising support to pack the gallery.
Siam Lee’s alleged murderer appeared in the Durban Magistrate’s Court on January 18 2018. He is being charged with the murder of the 20-year-old.