Five in court for murder of Raymond Papapavlou


The trial of the Limpopo farm foreman Raymond Papapavlou’s (28) wife, Simone, and her alleged mistress at the time, Patricia Lee Smith, was postponed again on Monday.

Simone and Patricia briefly appeared together with three other accused, Paulina Mamalope Mafatle, Calvin Tseka and Mafula Phillip Manchidi, in the High Court in Polokwane in connection with the murder of Raymond.

All five suspects were released on bail earlier.

Relatives of Simone and Patricia waited with them outside the courtroom as usual. Patricia pulled a scarf over her mouth and nose. Simone was neatly dressed in a white jacket and her face was made up.

The two women are represented respectively by adv. Pottie Potgieter and adv. Johann Gaum represented. The trial was supposed to begin today, but the state was not ready to proceed.

According to judge Marisa Naudé-Odendaal, there is outstanding information in the case file and approximately 33 statements are still awaited. In addition, Adv. André van der Kooi, public prosecutor, not in court on Monday because he is receiving hospital treatment.

Naudé-Odendaal said the necessary documents and information must be ready by August 18 so that the trial can continue.

The case was adjourned until September 27.

It has been nearly three years since Raymond’s murder and the trial has now been postponed twice in the past two years.

Raymond’s body was found in the early hours of October 2020 with several gunshot wounds in his farmhouse between Stofberg and Groblersdal in Limpopo.

Patricia was initially the only person arrested in the case, with Simone arrested months later.

They are accused of conspiring to kill Raymond and make it look like a possible farm attack. They were apparently involved in a romantic relationship at the time of the murder.

Simone claims her husband slept on a bed in one of the farmhouse’s bedrooms on the night of his death while she watched television in the living room.

According to her, she saw a shadow in the house after which she heard a shot in the direction of the bedroom. She then herself fired shots with her firearm in the direction of the shadow.

However, it would later appear in the magistrate’s court at Groblersdal that five months before the murder rat poison had apparently been poured on Raymond’s barbecue.

The investigating officer, ao. Debbie van Zyl testified during Simone’s bail application in 2021 that she and Patricia wanted to “take out” Raymond because he allegedly stood in the way of their love affair.

Van Zyl also argued that money cannot be ruled out as a motive for the murder, as Raymond took out two life policies before his death and made Simone the beneficiary.

Mafatle and Tseka, a mother and son, were arrested in August last year in connection with the murder.

In November last year, Van der Kooi indicated in court that there could possibly be more arrests, after which Manchidi was arrested.

These three are accused of also having a part in Raymond’s murder.

Read all of RNews’s previous reports on the case here.