Theft suspected motive behind Moroccan diplomat's murder

Fatmi Noureddine's body was found in a pool of blood at his guesthouse in Pretoria.

FILE: Officials say an autopsy is currently underway to determine Fatmi Noureddine's cause of death. Picture: Sxc.hu.

JOHANNESBURG - Theft is suspected to be the motive in the death of a Moroccan diplomat whose body was found in a pool of blood at his guesthouse in Pretoria.

Colleagues at the Moroccan embassy say they investigated after the normally punctual Fatmi Noureddine failed to arrive for work.

Noureddine's body was found in a pool of blood at his guesthouse on Tuesday.

Officials say an autopsy is currently underway to determine the cause of his death.

A cellphone is missing from his room but Moroccan diplomats say they don't know if Noureddine was in possession of a large sum of money.

Morocco hasn't had an ambassador in South Africa for a decade.

It withdrew its chief representative in protest against Pretoria establishing diplomatic relations with the Western Sahara that Morocco has occupied in defiance of the international community since 1975.

Earlier this year, Rwanda's former head of external intelligence Patrick Karegeya was found murdered in his hotel room in Sandton.