Man accused of Siam Lee's murder granted bail
The man accused of the kidnapping and murder of Durban escort Siam Lee has been granted bail after a protracted application that spanned over several months.
Magistrate Mohamed Motala on Wednesday ruled that the businessman had put forward exceptional circumstances to warrant his release while awaiting trial.
He was granted R40 000 bail‚ under the condition that he stay at his mother's house in Pietermaritzburg.
The 29-year-old faces a raft of charges‚ including the kidnapping and murder of Lee‚ as well as the rape of another woman. He cannot be named until he has tendered a plea in relation to the rape charge.
Lee‚ who worked as an escort to support her mother‚ was last seen on January 4 outside a Durban North house that operates as a brothel. The search for her spanned KwaZulu-Natal and ended when the charred remains of a woman were found in a sugarcane field in New Hanover.
The 20-year-old’s relatives later identified the body as hers.
The Sunday Times reported that Siam Lee had reached out to an organisation that assists sex workers‚ pleading for their help in the weeks before her murder. She detailed her despair of having to lead a double life while moving from one brothel to another‚ all the while maintaining a façade for her family and friends.