Cold case suspects prep for bail

Six men arrested in connection with a 13-year-old murder will return to court on June 11.

A copy of an ID book, allegedly belonging to a woman who was killed 13 years ago and buried at a Kenilworth house. Picture: Chris Collingridge/The Star Newspaper.

JOHANNESBURG - Lawyers for the six men arrested in connection with a 13-year-old murder will spend next week preparing for their bail applications.

The men were arrested for the disappearance and killing of Betty Ketani, after confession letters were found hidden under a carpet, at a house in southern Johannesburg. 

The confession letter describes how the mother of three was killed. A missing person case was registered after she disappeared in 1999, but never closed, despite it going cold.

Other cases were opened in connection with other abductions, but never linked.

The letters were signed by one of the accused and informed police of where to find visual and oral evidence in connection to several abduction cases.

The six accused, including two policemen, appeared briefly at the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court on Friday, and are due back in the dock on 11 June. 

A court order forbids journalists to reveal the names of the suspects. 

What was meant to be the start of their bail application, turned into a postponement, after the State handed over a lengthy affidavit by an investigating officer working on the case. 

In the document, the policeman sets out a case against the accused, going into details that have, until now, remained unknown. 

The defence argued that it could not proceed until it had a fair chance to study the statement, and prepare to challenge it.

State prosecutors also asked for a handwriting sample from one of the accused. 

Five men were arrested over five days in May, and the sixth accused was arrested after appearing in an identity parade on Wednesday. He and now faces the same charges as the others.