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Five men appeared in the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court on Friday in connection with the alleged murder of Betty Ketani 13 years ago, Gauteng Police said.
“The case was postponed to June 1 for (a) bail application,” spokesman Lt-Col Tshisikhawe Ndou said.
A letter found about during renovations of a house in Johannesburg two months ago led to the breakthrough in the case and the five arrests, said Ndou.
“The letter details the crime step-by-step... Police investigations continue and we can't rule out the possibility of more arrests,” he said.
The letter was apparently a confession by one of the people who killed Ketani in 1999.
Ketani was shot in the head on a farm in Johannesburg and was left for dead, but survived and was taken to a hospital.
The 37-year-old mother was later kidnapped from hospital and has been classed as a missing person for the past 13 years.
Ndou said the letter stated that the suspected killers abducted her from the hospital using a forged medical note when they realised she had survived, and then shot her dead.
It was not known whether the author was alive and among those arrested.
The Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union commended the police for the breakthrough in the case.
“We are further pleased that suspects have been arrested for the murder and kidnapping of Betty Ketani,” spokesman Theto Mahlakoana said in a statement.
“These developments are an indication that indeed there are very few places the long arm of the law cannot reach.”
The union voiced concern that some of the suspects were police officers, either at the time if the crime or currently.
“We encourage the police officials involved in this case to ensure no stone is left unturned in their investigations. The family of Betty Ketani deserves to know the truth in order to get closure,” Mahlakoana said. - Sapa