Karabo's mother: They didn't look as if they were in love
It was an emotional scene on Thursday as Karabo Mokoena’s mother Keabetswe ‘Lolo’ Mokoena took to the stand in the Johannesburg High Court to testify in the sentencing proceedings of her daughter's convicted killer‚ Sandile Mantsoe.
“When we were at the Sandton police station… I thought the officer would just tell me that Karabo was tied up somewhere. I never thought he would tell me what he told me‚” said the grieving mother.
“When the officer told me that Karabo was no more‚ I just screamed‚” she said‚ breaking down on the stand.
Mokoena’s relatives who were in the court gallery also broke down as she spoke.
She told the court of how she had grappled to come to terms with her daughter’s passing. “It’s like it just happened yesterday. I can still hear her voice calling for me and her touching my chin‚” Mokoena told the court.
Sandile Mantsoe, who was found guilty of murdering his girlfriend, Karabo Mokoena, was sentenced to 32 years in prison on May 3 2018.
Asked about the nature of the relationship that existed between her daughter and the man now convicted of killing her‚ Mokoena said she initially was not aware that the pair were an item.
“What I saw between the two of them – I didn’t see that they were in love. They seemed like they were friends. He didn’t seem like he would stop Karabo from doing something‚” she said‚ referring to her observations of him when they met.
Mantsoe‚ 28‚ is due to be sentenced following his conviction for the assault and killing of Mokoena. He was also found guilty of trying to destroy her body.
The forex trader has denied killing Mokoena‚ maintaining that he returned to his Sandton apartment in April 2017 to find that she had committed suicide. He claimed that Mokoena stabbed herself in the neck. Out of panic and fear that he would be blamed for her death‚ he disposed of her body by drenching it in pool acid and petrol before setting it alight in a ditch in Lyndhurst.
Taking to the stand to plead for a more lenient sentence‚ Mantsoe apologised to Mokoena’s family for setting her corpse alight‚ maintaining his innocence of murder.
Acting Judge Peet Johnson was scathing in his sentencing of convicted murderer Sandile Mantsoe for the killing of Karabo Mokoena, on May 3 2018. Mantsoe received an effective 32 years in prison. H...