Karabo Mokoena murder trial to start in 2018
The trial of Sandile Mantsoe‚ alleged to have murdered and burnt the remains of his girlfriend Karabo Mokoena‚ will only be heard next year.
Mantsoe on Friday morning appeared in the Johannesburg High Court‚ where his case was postponed to 15 March 2018 for trial.
Appearing before a packed‚ heated court‚ Mantsoe sat in the dock alongside a stream of other accused.
He wore a grey polo neck jersey and a green scarf and seemed unfazed by all the cameras and people present in court.
An entourage of Mokoena’s family occupied the middle benches of the courtroom.
After proceedings‚ the family huddled together outside the court as Mokoena’s uncle‚ Tshepo‚ addressed them.
Mantsoe’s mother and a young woman believed to be his sister quickly left the court after proceedings.
Meanwhile‚ outside the court a handful of Democratic Alliance protested against Mantsoe.
Carrying placards with the words‚ “No to Femicide‚” the group sang songs‚ calling for Mantsoe to be kept behind bars.
The 27-year-old married father of three‚ who is estranged from his wife‚ has been behind bars since May.
Mokoena’s remains were discovered in a ditch in Lyndhurst‚ burnt beyond recognition‚ on April 29.
Her family continued searching for her‚ unaware that the remains that had been found were hers.
Mantsoe was questioned by police and had initially denied seeing Mokoena‚ alleging that they had broken up a few months earlier.
However‚ he later confessed to police that he had returned home from a business meeting on April 28 and found Mokoena dead in his flat.
He claimed to have disposed of the body by dousing it with petrol and pool acid‚ placing a tyre around it and setting it alight.
Mantsoe alleged that he had feared that he would have been blamed for killing Mokoena‚ as she had reportedly painted him as an abusive lover.
During his failed bail application‚ the investigating officer in the matter told the court that Mantsoe had told police that he had killed Mokoena to sever a blood ritual they had done in order to strengthen his business.
His business started to fail once he and Mokoena decided to part ways.
Mantsoe denied making the confession.