Woman appears for consulate worker murder

2013-01-15 13:08
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Johannesburg - A 29-year-old woman accused of murdering United States consulate worker Christopher "Norm" Bates appeared in the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court on Tuesday.

Dressed in tight black jeans, All Star sneakers and a jacket, the accused, Lerato Mogapi, stood in the dock with a bruised eye.

Magistrate Jonathan du Plessis explained to her that her trial would likely be heard in the High Court and if convicted, she could possibly be handed a life sentence.

Mogapi told the court that she would be applying for legal aid.

The case was postponed to 22 January. She would be kept in police custody.

A woman and a man, suspected to be Mogapi's relatives, left the court soon after the case was postponed.

The distraught woman refused to speak to the media.

Mogapi was accused of stabbing Bates, 41, to death in his Illovo apartment on Sunday morning.

Gauteng police said a security guard heard a woman screaming and, when he went to check, he allegedly saw the woman with a knife in her hand and Bates with several stab wounds in his upper body.

Bates died on the scene. Police arrested the woman and seized the knife.

The motive for the murder was not immediately clear.

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