Cold case: Laughton described as charitable man

A witness says murder accused Carrington Laughton was someone who never even raised his voice.

FILE: The Betty Ketani murder trial underway in the Palm Ridge Magistrates Court. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The alleged author of a key confession in the so-called cold case has been described by a defence witness as a charitable man who never raised his voice.

A friend of Carrington Laughton was giving evidence on Monday in a trial that revolves around the discovery of a hidden bundle of letters under a carpet.

Laughton and his co-accused have denied kidnapping and killing Betty Ketani some 16 years ago and claim they are being framed for murder.

Leon Ruhl has testified that in 2004, while drinking at a Spur restaurant, he heard that Laughton was being set up for murder.

Ruhl says he heard this from one of Laughton's friends, who had in turn heard it from another friend.

He's described the accused as someone who, in over 10 years, never even raised his voice.

But the state has accused the witness of being Laughton's "go-to man" - someone who worked for him and was now willing to lie in court.

Prosecutors have questioned his memory and explored his long history of drug abuse which began when he was just 14.