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Ketani was chief suspect in Cranks restaurant probe

Betty Ketani was a cook at the restaurant and vanished without a trace in 1999.

Forensic experts excavate Betty Ketani's grave. Picture: Alex Eliseev/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The latest witness in the so-called cold case has testified that Betty Ketani was the chief suspect in a controversial investigation at Cranks Restaurant 15 years ago.

Dirck Reinecke is one of three men initially arrested for the crime but have turned state witness in exchange for lenient sentences.

Ketani was a cook at the restaurant and vanished without a trace in 1999.

Her murder came to light after the discovery of a confession letter under a carpet.

Prosecutor Herman Broodryk is leading Reinecke through his evidence, particularly about his association with Carrington Laughton, the alleged author of the secret confession.

Reinecke has testified about introducing Laughton to the restaurant owner's daughter Monique Neeteson-Lemkes who wanted some thefts investigated.

He also described how Ketani was driven to a hotel room late at night and interrogated about the missing money shortly before her disappearance.

Reinecke says the atmosphere was tense and both he and Laughton were soon convinced the deceased was innocent, but Neeteson-Lemkes wanted more time to question her.

He confessed to forcing Ketani to stay in the room.

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