Daily Maverick (Johannesburg)

23 February 2014

South Africa: A Cold Case, a Sizzling Battle - Betty Ketani Murder Trial, Week One

analysis

As the clock ticks down to the Oscar Pistorius eclipse, another trial has started in a court across town. The Betty Ketani 'cold' murder case is a fountain of intrigue which splashes higher and higher with each passing court day. It also shows how quickly the legal advantage can swing from one side to the other and all the way back. ALEX ELISEEV suggests that those planning to follow the Oscar show should brace themselves for the ride.

After two years of suspense, the Betty Ketani trial finally began last week. Of course it was two years for all of us, but for her family it's been almost fifteen years of waiting for some kind of closure.

Ketani, a mother-of-three and head chef at Cranks restaurant in Rosebank, disappeared without a trace on May 20, 1999.

Thirteen years later, a confession was found hidden under a carpet and shook a deeply slumbering case wide awake. A few weeks later, six men were behind bars for her kidnap and murder, including the alleged author of the confession, two policemen brothers and by now the group's least popular member, the man who hid the confession and forgot all about it when he ...

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