Consulate worker's accused killer appears

2013-01-22 12:41

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Johannesburg - A woman accused of murdering United States consulate worker Christopher "Norm" Bates appeared in the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court on Tuesday.

Lerato Mogapi, 29, who appeared wearing black leggings, All Star sneakers and a black winter jacket, was to have applied for bail, but could not because her identity has yet to be confirmed.

She had a bruised eye during her appearance last week, when the court said it needed to confirm her identity and residential address before she could apply for bail.

Identity

On Tuesday, the court heard that while both Mogapi's parents were from Botswana, she was born in North West and had South African documentation.

However, her Legal Aid representative Sibongile Bovu told the court Mogapi had lost her identity document and did not know her identity number.

Magistrate Jonathan du Plessis rejected Bovu's request that the investigating officer verify her identity by taking her fingerprints.

"The State is not her agency.... You can go to home affairs for that or ask her parents," he said.

"Officers are carrying too many documents and cases and they cannot investigate who you are on your behalf."

The case was postponed to 19 February. Mogapi will remain in police custody.

Stabbing

She is accused of fatally stabbing Bates, 41, on 13 January at the Oxford Gardens flats in Illovo, where he lived.

Gauteng police said a security guard heard a woman screaming, went to investigate and saw a woman with a knife in her hand. Bates, who had been stabbed several times, died on the scene.

A woman, believed to be a relative of Mogapi was in court. Wearing a brown hat, a green skirt and top, she sat at the back of the gallery, clutched her handbag and rocked in her seat.

During last week's proceedings, Du Plessis said the matter would probably go to the high court and, if found guilty, Mogapi could receive a life sentence.

- SAPA
Read more on:    us  |  johannesburg
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