In the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court on Friday morning for a bail verdict, it was revealed that Sandile Mantsoe has pleaded not guilty to the murder of his girlfriend.
He claims to have found her in his home with slashed wrists and that the neighbours would have heard something if he’d murdered her.
The State also revealed that Mantsoe had confessed to a police officer that he had killed Mokoena in a ritual killing to restore his failing business. This was apparently done in the superstitious belief that there was a bad “blood tie” between them.
In his bail application, Mokoena added that he had taken the decision to transport her body out of his flat in a wheelie bin to a site where he burnt it after he panicked.
He is accused of killing his girlfriend and then dumping her body in a veld in Lyndhurst.
Mantsoe made an appearance in court, where the State entered its charge of murder and defeating the ends of justice.
Last month, the court ruled the media may only report on the bail verdict and not the arguments, as sensitive information would be divulged.
However, the Times Media Group filed an urgent application for this ruling to be overruled and to allow for both the bail application and judgment to be reported on. The court found in their favour and the ban was lifted.
Sunday tabloid Sunday World reported earlier this month that it had been provided with shocking details about the state’s case against her alleged Mantsoe.
They alleged that police believe her murder was a ritual killing performed at a “Joburg church where they swapped blood in a bid to unite the couple spiritually and strengthen Mantsoe’s ailing business”.
The 22-year-old was in an allegedly abusive relationship with her 27-year-old boyfriend, a forex trader and evangelist.
They reported that Mantsoe’s Ghanaian “sangoma” was allegedly also involved with the murder, but apparently died shortly after Mantsoe admitted to police that he had burnt Mokoena’s body in a field in Bramley.
The allegation is that the sangoma was interested in harvesting body parts for muti purposes. The police were reportedly looking for the late Ghanaian’s home in the hope that human body parts will be found there.
The tabloid reported that Mantsoe is still married to a 33-year-old woman from the Eastern Cape and that the police were looking for the Lusikisiki resident for a statement.
The police and the National Prosecuting Authority declined to comment on the details.
Karabo’s family told the tabloid they were convinced she had not known Mantsoe was married, or she would not have gotten involved with him.
The couple had dated for seven months and Karabo was said to have been deeply in love with Mantsoe, believing he was a “God-fearing man”.
Karabo’s friends have told the media that she had endured months of abuse at the hands of her boyfriend, saying that she had faced more than one beating at his hands. He apparently believed that she was being unfaithful.
The friends told City Press last month that they had noticed Mantsoe’s “carpets were wet” when they went to visit him following Karabo’s disappearance. Mantsoe told them his fridge had leaked.
The police confirmed that Karabo and her alleged killer had laid countercharges of assault against each other during the period of their relationship.
Karabo’s younger brother showed the media a shocking photo of how badly she had once been beaten by her boyfriend.