- On Wednesday, the Johannesburg High Court has found Sandile Mantsoe guilty of murdering his girlfriend, Karabo Mokoena
- The court did not believe Mantsoe's version of events, which stated Mokoena stabbed herself in the neck
- The judge added the accused went about very meticulously covering up his deed after the deceased was killed
Briefly.co.za gathered the accused was found guilty on charges of murder and assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, which was related to an assault that led to Mokoena being hospitalised on her birthday last year.
On 28 April 2017, Mantsoe murdered his girlfriend and then burned her body beyond recognition. His defence was that she committed suicide, but the court obviously did not buy his story.
Acting judge Peet Johnson said the court was satisfied with the state's case, which he said was "beyond reasonable doubt".
According to Johnson, if Mokoena committed suicide as the accused claim, he would not have needed to cover up the crime by burning her body.
"There was nothing to be afraid of because everyone would see what he saw and get to the same conclusion that he did. He made no alarm or told anyone that she committed suicide which would be the first thing that any sound person would have done. The last thing a person would do if he finds a loved one who has committed suicide … would be to try and exonerate themselves."
"The accused caused the body of the deceased to burn beyond recognition and then tried to conceal the fact that she was dead and he got involved in a web of lies‚" Johnson said.
Johnson added Mantsoe went through great lengths to cover up his crime, and he apparently did not show any emotion.
"The accused went about very meticulously covering up his deed after the deceased was killed on April 28 2017. He apparently showed no emotion throughout because if he had‚ this would have been put to the witnesses‚”
The judge added Mantsoe then played his girlfriend's friend, Stephanie Leong, who had been looking for Mokoena- he even pretended to help search for her.
"He also planned the disposal of the body carefully... The court has a strong suspicion that he might have planned her death. Without more concrete evidence‚ the only reasonable inference is that he did not plan to kill the deceased. He may have acted in that way to conceal what he had done‚" Johnson said.
Mokoena's burned remains were discovered in a ditch in Lyndhurst a day after her murder.
The 28-year-old Forex trader pleaded not guilty to all charges, but he did admit he poured petrol and acid over her body before setting her on fire.
According to the accused, his girlfriend took her own life at his luxury Sandton Skye apartment by stabbing herself in the neck.
Because of the severe burns on her body, a post-mortem could not determine the exact cause of her death, but the court accepted a knife wound as it was the only version put in front of it, Times LIVE reported.
Mantsoe and Mokoena had a relationship while he was estranged from his wife, with whom he has three children.
After the verdict was given, Mantsoe said he tried to be a positive influence on Mokoena during a difficult time in her life.
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