A letter debacle has raised tensions between the Mantsoe and Mokoena families as a police investigation into the death of Karabo Mokoena intensifies.
Florence Khumalo, Sandile Mantsoe’s mother, told The Star her family had come together and decided to write a letter to convey their apologies to Karabo’s family. She said they were hurt by their son’s attachment to the murder and sympathised with the pain and mourning Karabo’s family was going through.
Mantsoe is currently in police custody after he was arrested last week Thursday. He is the main suspect in Karabo’s murder. She disappeared on April 28, and her burnt body was found on April 29 at a rubbish dump, burnt beyond recognition. According to reports, Mantsoe said he found Karabo already dead inside his apartment and, in a moment of panic, doused her with petrol and acid and set her light.
Khumalo said the letter was meant to be hand delivered to the Mokoena family, but because no one was home, it was slipped under the door.
“That was not respectful, and we acknowledge that. But we then decided to write another letter, in which we apologised. The messenger found Karabo’s father, who was incensed and refused to acknowledge it. The family said they would take it to the police,” Khumalo told the daily newspaper.
The contents of the letter include comments about the shock and hurt Mantsoe’s family is feeling. It states they are aware of how serious gender-based violence is, and they never thought it could hit so close to home.
“You and the country at large are hurting, you are angry, and we acknowledge the anger. We do not have the answers to what happened, but we do sympathise with your family for your loss.
“As a family we sincerely pray for a speedy conclusion of all the processes to follow, because Karabo was also our own, she came to us, we knew her, and we loved her,” the letter states.
A memorial service will be held for Karabo at the Diepkloof hall at 2pm on Wednesday. It will end at 5pm. Her funeral will take place on Friday at the same hall and begins at 8am.