Murdered Groblersdal farmer's wife, suspect are lovers - report

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Patricia Ray-Lee Smith in court on Friday.
Patricia Ray-Lee Smith in court on Friday.
Deon Raath
  • The woman accused of murdering a Groblersdal farm manager reportedly had a romantic relationship with his wife, Simone. 
  • According to her charge sheet, Patricia Ray-Lee Smith conspired with Simone to murder Raymond Papapavlou. 
  • Neither the police nor the NPA would confirm or deny that Simone was a suspect in the case.

The woman arrested for the murder of Groblersdal game farm manager Raymond Papapavlou, was reportedly involved in a romantic relationship with his wife, Simone

Patricia Ray-Lee Smith, 23, appeared in court on charges of murder and conspiracy to commit murder on Thursday in connection with the murder of Papapavlou.

Last week, Netwerk24 reported that Simone allegedly conspired with Smith to kill Papapavlou. This information was contained in the charge sheet obtained by Netwerk24.

The charge sheet stated that Smith "unlawfully and intentionally conspired with Simone Papapavlou to aid or procure the commission of or to commit an offence, to wit to unlawfully and intentionally kill Raymond Papapavlou..."

On Sunday, Rapport reported that Ocker Botha, Smith's attorney of record, confirmed the relationship between his client and Simone, but strongly denied Smith's involvement in the murder.

Smith with Simone Papapavlou in this 2015 picture.
patricia ray lee smith
Part of the charge sheet implicating Simone Papapavlou.

Being framed

"If I'm involved in a lesbian relationship, it does not mean I'm a killer. It is a common fact that my client was 300km away [from the murder scene], at her home in Johannesburg that night and the police know this," Botha told Rapport on Saturday.

"They are trying to intimidate and use my client to flush out the real killer," he reportedly said.

Earlier, it was reported Smith was a close friend of Papapavlou's wife, Simone. She was reportedly arrested in Kempton Park, Gauteng, on Tuesday. According to Netwerk24, she used to work with the Papapavlou couple before moving to Gauteng.

Papapavlou's body was found with several gunshot wounds in his house on a farm between Stoffberg and Groblersdal on 5 October at about 00:30. He was 28.

Raymond Papapavlou with his wife, Simone.

Groblersdal police spokesperson Warrant Officer Stanley Magaela earlier told the Bosveld Weekend Review that Papapavlou had been shot five times. There were no signs of a struggle. Magaela reportedly said Papapavlou's wife "fired several warning shots" during the incident.

While police spokesperson Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo earlier said more arrests were expected, Simone Papapavlou had not yet been arrested. She was also not in court on Thursday, Netwerk24 reported.

On Friday, Mojapelo would not be drawn into confirming or denying that Simone was a suspect in the case. National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Mashudu Malabi would also not comment to News24 on any details about the investigation.

Simone Papapavlou told Netwerk24 her attorney had instructed her not to comment on the matter. 

- Compiled by Riaan Grobler

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