Cold case suspect refutes confession letter

One of the suspects in the carpet confession case has questioned the authenticity of a letter.

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 - The alleged author of a letter, which ended a 13-year-old murder case, has denied that the document amounted to a confession.

Six men have been arrested after the letter was discovered beneath a carpet at a house in Kenilworth, south of Johannesburg.

On Monday, the suspects appeared in the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court to apply for bail.

In his application, Carrington Lawton revealed he has worked as a private investigator and is a current publisher of a motoring website.

He wanted to convince the court that he is not a flight risk and that the state's case against him is weak.

Lawton denied the letter's authenticity, saying it will make up a major part of the trial.

He said there is little objective evidence to back up the allegations it contains.

Earlier, the court granted two of his co-accused bail of R20,000 each.

The third suspect, Conway Brown, abandoned his application.

The letter was found at a house that Brown used to rent - the same property where Betty Ketani's body was buried.

The owner of the home made the discovery while he was installing new carpets for a tenant.

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

They were later forced to break up the concrete grave to dump 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.

The letter was handed to authorities two months ago.