Prosecution to meet mystery witness in cold case

The prosecution believes the witness could have a significant effect on the Betty Ketani trial.

Betty Ketani's ID image from 13 years ago.

JOHANNESBURG - Prosecutors in the Betty Ketani murder case are expected to meet a mystery witness who came forward this week and may land up changing the course of the trial against the men.

Three of the six men arrested for the murder that occurred 13 years ago, were due to continue fighting for freedom in their bail application on Wednesday.

They will only return to court on Tuesday.

The suspects were arrested in May after a confession was found amid a bundle of letters hidden beneath a carpet at a house in Kenilworth, south of Johannesburg.

One of Gauteng's most senior prosecutors was leading the case and said they needed time to consult with a witness, who came forward just hours before Wednesday's court appearance.

Herman Broodryk said the witness led them to new evidence which could have a significant effect on the bail application and possibly the trial.

The identity of the witness is, at least for now, a closely guarded secret but by Friday the state will have to give the defence teams more information about the nature of the evidence which has emerged.

Two of the accused have already been released on bail, while the third accused abandoned his application.

One of the witnesses who feared for his life described in detail his encounter with the gang over a decade ago.

He had been abducted twice. The gang assumed he had information of the whereabouts of Ketani at the time because his wife worked with her at a Rosebank-based restaurant.

The owner of the restaurant is believed to be the father of one of the gang members.

When the gang took kidnapped him he was taken to a location "outside of town". He was tortured and was told him to pray. He was convinced he was going to die.

"They said if I did not tell them the truth, I was going to die," the traumatised man told Eyewitness News .

The witness was recently called to identify his attackers and is expected to take the stand when the case eventually goes to trial.