Justice department's courtroom fail as Karabo's suspected killer due in court

30 August 2017 - 11:14 By Naledi Shange
Murder accused 27-year-old Sandile Mantsoe. File photo.
Murder accused 27-year-old Sandile Mantsoe. File photo.
Image: Gallo Images / Sunday World / Veli Nhlapo

While the justice department is finding ways to ensure the safety of inmates and eliminate the cost of ferrying them between courts and prisons‚ this is not always effective.

On Wednesday‚ Sandile Mantsoe who is accused of murdering his girlfriend‚ Karabo Mokoena‚ appeared via live stream at the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court but proceedings had to be postponed as he needed to be physically present to receive his indictment.

While proceedings got under way in court‚ Mantsoe was in a room at the Johannesburg Correctional Centre‚ also known as Sun City prison.

Appearing before Magistrate Piet Du Plessis‚ his case was promptly postponed.

Du Plessis said the matter could not proceed as he needed to physically hand Mantsoe the indictment.

“The indictments must be handed to the accused and I cannot do that on the screen‚” du Plessis said.

Despite having spent over a month behind bars‚ Mantsoe looked suave as he appeared on screen‚ sporting a peach bottle-neck jersey‚ a grey jacket and a black scarf draped over his shoulders.

He will now appear in court 13 on Thursday. Mantsoe has been behind bars since May‚ when the charred remains of his girlfriend were discovered in Lyndhurst.

She had been doused with pool acid and petrol‚ a tyre placed around her neck and set alight.

Her family had searched for her for days on end‚ circulating her picture on social media‚ not knowing that a body that had been discovered was hers. The body was burnt beyond recognition.

Mantsoe has denied killing Karabo.

He claimed that he returned home on April 28 and found that she had committed suicide in the luxurious apartment that the pair had sometimes shared.

The 27-year-old claimed to have panicked and decided to dispose of her body.

He said Mokoena had already painted him as an abusive lover and he was worried that he would be blamed for her death.

The married father of three was estranged from him wife at the time of the crime.

He faces a charge of premeditated murder and defeating the ends of justice.