THURSDAY MAY 24 2012

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★★★★★

Old letters trap killers
Murder confession hidden under carpet for 13 years

www.star.co.za

★★

INSIDE

LOLO, THE VIRGIN
OLYMPIAN  3
THE SPEAR:
‘I’M NOT
EVEN A
ZUMA
FAN’ 
11
EXCLUSIVE

MMEMEZI’S
CREDIT CARD
WOES 

12

COOKING WITH
MIMI
VERVE 
16

MOENEEB, THE
PRIMA
DONNA
CRIME SCENE: The spot where Tandiwe Betty Ketani’s body was
initially buried under concrete. On the right is the piece of carpet
under which the letters were found.
PICTURES: CHRIS COLLINGRIDGE
ALEX ELISEEV

F

OR ALMOST 13 years, a
bundle of letters lay hidden beneath the brown
carpet of a house in Kenilworth, Joburg.
Then, two months ago, a routine
renovation unearthed what police
believe to be a detailed confession
linking at least five men to a spree
of violent abductions and a grisly
murder. Two of these men were,
at the time, serving as policemen.
All five suspects – including
the author – are now in custody, and
are due to apply for bail at the
Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court
tomorrow.
The confession detailed how, in
May 1999, a 37-year-old woman
named Tandiwe Betty Ketani was
kidnapped and shot in the head,

before being dumped in Walkerville, south of Joburg. Her killers
thought she was dead, but discovered she had survived when she
surfaced at a Vereeniging hospital.
The author of the confession
admits they failed to do a “brilliant
job” of the hit, and were forced to
fake medical documents in order
to kidnap Ketani from hospital by
pretending to be transferring her to
another facility. The brazen gang
pushed the mother-of-three out of
the hospital in a wheelchair.
The confession claims the
woman died from shock after being
captured a second time, but police
are investigating a new version
that she may have had her nose and
mouth taped shut, causing her to
suffocate.
Her body was allegedly entombed in concrete and buried

TRAGIC: Tandiwe Betty Ketani’s
family had been searching for her,
wondering if she was still alive.

behind the garage of the Kenilworth house. Later, it appears the
killers broke up the shallow grave
and dropped the body at a dumping
site in Booysens.
The owner of the house has
asked to remain anonymous, but
says he discovered the confession
while renovating for a new tenant.
The author of the letters had
rented the house for about a decade,
but moved out several years ago.
The homeowner says the confession began with the words “If you
are reading this, then I am dead”. It
went on to give the names of at

least two men who were abducted
and tortured; the story behind
Ketani’s death; and the names of
those involved in all the crimes.
The letters, addressed to a specific individual, directs the reader
to video footage, photographs,
recorded phone conversations and
a stash of cash.
“Please do everything you can to
avenge me,” the letter concludes.
“Lastly, f*** them all!!!!!” It was
signed on September 30, 1999.
The owner felt like he was
trapped inside a movie. “This
doesn’t happen to just anybody…
And now as things are falling into
place, it’s incredible to hear what
happened and how shocking and
massive this is.”
After handing over the notes to
the police and private investigators
from VIP Support Systems, he was

amazed at how quickly they got to
work. Within weeks, investigators
traced the old dockets, made their
arrests, dug up the grave and
brought the suspects to point out
the crime scene.
According to police spokesman
Tshisikhawe Ndou, two of the suspects have made full confessions.
Ketani’s family, who live in the
Eastern Cape, said they spent all
those years searching for her and
wondering if she was alive.
While they are happy to hear
about the arrests, they are also
still coming to terms with news of
her murder.
It’s not clear why she was killed
but her family suspect it may have
had to do with her legal battle
against a restaurant where she
worked for many years, and from
which she was unfairly fired.

Zuma rape accuser sought Errant drivers face
IN EXILE:
Khwezi, the
woman who
accused Jacob
Zuma of
raping her,
arrives at the
Johannesburg
High Court in
2006 under
cover.

ANNA BISARO
anna.bisaro@inl.co.za

SIX YEARS after President Jacob
Zuma was acquitted of a rape
charge, the Azanian People’s
Organisation (Azapo) wants to
bring his accuser back to SA
through the Bring Khwezi Home
campaign.
Manku Noruka, the head of
Azapo’s women and gender affairs
department, said yesterday: “We
need a face for the campaign. She
took a risk… against one of the most
powerful people in South Africa.”
Khwezi (not her real name)
accused Zuma, a friend of her
father’s, of raping her.
The trial ended on May 8, 2006.
Zuma was acquitted and Khwezi
and her mother sought asylum in
the Netherlands.
Azapo’s deputy national spokesman, Funani kaNtontela, said they
would be contacting the SA
embassy in the Netherlands to see

PICTURE:
ALON SKUY

if they had information as to
Khwezi’s whereabouts.
They are also in touch with
a journalist who they believe
has information regarding her
whereabouts.
Ntontela said they did not know
if Khwezi even wants to come
home, but they were calling on the
president to give her the option and
the guarantee of protection if she,

her mother and other family members were to return to SA.
“We want to make use of her
name as One In Nine (a campaign)
to report rape,” Ntontela said.
Ntontela said the committee was
looking for Khwezi to be the figurehead for the greater movement to
help all abused women in SA.
According to Azapo, a woman is
raped in SA every 17 seconds.

‘rehabilitative’ retest
BONILE NGQIYAZA
bonile.ngqiyaza@inl.co.za

THE ROAD Traffic Management
Corporation (RTMC) is going after
drivers found guilty of certain
traffic violations.
Announcing the rollout of a
“safety and rehabilitative” programme called Project Woza ReTest, RTMC acting CEO Collins
Letsoalo said they intended to have
motorists who were arrested from
January 1 this year for certain road
transgressions to have their
learner’s and driving licences suspended till they had been retested.
Letsoalo said 5 000 drivers had
been arrested for various trafficrelated violations since January 1.
The RTMC said the project’s
aim was to educate and rehabilitate
convicted motorists.
It intended to roll out the

South African Airways has extended its route to Pointe Noire, Congo,
to also include Cotonou in Benin. These flights are now
available for sale at great fares through SAA’s reservations department,
on the web at www.flysaa.com and the travel agency community.

programme on drivers found guilty
of traffic offences related to both
section 25(1)(b) and section 25(2) of
the National Road Traffic Act.
These included drivers caught for:
● Driving under the influence of
alcohol and other substances with
narcotic effects (section 65);
● Reckless, negligent and/or inconsiderate driving (section 63);
● Excessive speeding, for example,
exceeding the 30km/h threshold in
built-up areas and 40km/h on freeways (section 59).
“Convicted offenders will be
given 14 working days in which to
explain why his/her licence should
not be suspended pending the
outcome of a retest of both the
learner’s and driving licences.”
A sceptical Justice Project SA’s
Howard Dembovsky questioned
whether the RTMC could act as a
court of law. 

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