JOHANNESBURG, May 12 – The case against the man accused of killing and then burning the body of Karabo Mokoena was postponed in the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court on Friday.
Sandile Mantswe, 27, made his first appearance in court and is facing a murder charge after he reportedly confessed to killing Mokoena. According to reports, Mokoena was killed before her body was set alight and then buried in Bramley, north of Johannesburg.
Mokoena was reported missing on April 28 by her friends and family members and was reportedly found burnt and buried in a shallow grave by police the following day. The body though, has reportedly not yet been been formally identified.
Mokoena’s family and friends were present and emotional during Mantswe’s court appearance on Friday, while members of the Democratic Alliance and Economic Freedom Fighters were also present in support of the family.
Earlier, Gauteng MEC of Education Panyaza Lesufi was seen at the court to pass on his condolences to the Mokoena family.
The magistrate allowed the media to film proceedings and take pictures of Mantswe, stating that the matter was of public interest and because his pictures had already made the rounds on social media.
Mantswe is facing a count of premeditated murder which is a schedule six offence and can result in life imprisonment if found guilty, as well as a charge of defeating the ends of justice.
Court proceedings were briefly paused due to EFF members not wanting to leave the courtroom after the magistrate said no political regalia was allowed inside.
Speaking to the media outside court, Mokoena’s uncle, Tshepo Mokoena, said Karabo’s death had caught the family offguard and that the matter was now in God’s hands.
“We knew him, but not well, it was a seven-month-old relationship,” Mokoena told the media outside the court room following proceedings.
Speaking to the media after Mantswe’s brief appearance, National Prosecution Authority (NPA) spokeswoman Phindi Mjonodwane said despite reports, Mantswe had not confessed to the murder.
“There was no record of the accused confessing to the murder, only pointing out the scene,” Mjonodwane said.
“The State will be opposing bail because South Africa has a problem with domestic violence and in order to decrease the scourge we need to be up in arms as the State.”
The case was postponed to May 24, for Mantswe to apply for bail.
– African News Agency (ANA