US embassy names murdered official

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By Peter Fabricius

Pretoria - The US embassy on Monday named its Consulate General staffer who was murdered in Joburg early on Sunday as Christopher “Norm” Bates.

A 29-year-old woman was due to appear in court on Tuesday in connection with his death.

Embassy spokesman Jack Hillmeyer said Bates, an American citizen, had been the information management officer at the Consulate General in Sandton since 2010. He had been an employee of the US Department of State for 11 years and had previously served at US embassies in Senegal, Kenya and Lesotho.

Gauteng police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Lungelo Dlamini said Bates, 41, had been seen driving into the premises of the Oxford Gardens flats in Oxford Road in the company of a woman at about 3am on Sunday.

“Thereafter, a guard heard a woman screaming. When he went to investigate, he saw she had a knife in her hand and the victim had been stabbed in the upper body,” Dlamini said. Police were called in and arrested the woman.

Hillmeyer said the circumstances surrounding Bates’s death were being investigated by local police. “The State Department’s diplomatic security staff are co-operating with the investigation.

“We are saddened by the loss of our colleague and friend. Our thoughts go out to his family and loved ones.”

Bates leaves his parents, siblings and children, none of whom are living in South Africa. It is understood Bates was divorced or separated from his wife.

Pretoria News

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