Confession letter accused in court

Five men who were arrested for a 13-year-old murder case will appear in court.

Betty Ketani's ID document. Picture: Chris Collingridge/The Star

JOHANNESBURG - The men arrested in connection with a murder and kidnapping case that occurred 13 years ago are scheduled to appear in court on Friday morning.

Eyewitness News revealed on Thursday how a dramatic confession letter found beneath a carpet led to the breakthrough in the case.

It is believed the five men may launch their bail applications on Friday.

Eyewitness News understands the state planned to oppose the application.

The state might argue that the investigation was not yet finished and more arrests were expected.

The confession letter detailed the murder of Betty Ketani, various violent abductions, while also stating the names of those allegedly involved in the crimes.

Two of the five suspects were policemen at the time of the crime.

The family of Ketani, a mother of three, arrived in Johannesburg on Thursday, saying they were relieved to finally know the truth.

They were planning to attend court proceedings.

The owner of the home where the letter was found was installing new carpets in the house to accommodate his new tenant, when the discovery was made.

"We were so intrigued, standing there. We were sweating, you know, and I said don't drip sweat on the papers because you're going to damage them."

He said it felt like he was starring in a movie.

"It said to the person he left this letter to 'by the time you read this I will probably be dead'."

The homeowner passed the information onto the police, who spent weeks piecing together the puzzle, tracing cold cases and finally pouncing on their suspects.

The gang is alleged to have killed Ketani and buried her behind the house where the letter was found.

Later the gang was forced to break up the concrete grave to dump the Ketani's body elsewhere.

It also appears that they had tried to kill her previously but failed, forcing them to falsify medical documents and hire a special van to kidnap her from hospital and finish the job.

Sources close to the case told Eyewitness News more arrests were expected and some of the suspects were also assumed to be residing overseas.

The letter was handed to authorities two months ago, while arrests were made only two days ago.