JOHANNESBURG, April 19 – The trial of Sandile Mantsoe, who allegedly killed and burnt his girlfriend of eight months Karabo Mokoena, is expected to continue in the South Gauteng High Court on Thursday.
On Wednesday, A constable testifying in Mantsoe trial , told the court on Wednesday that Mokoena’s body was burnt beyond recognition.
Constable Helen Mahwete testified that it was so badly burnt it was impossible to see whether it was a male or female.
“But when you took a closer look the toe nails had red nail polish, that’s how we could tell it was a female.”
Earlier Mahwete, a police detective, told the court she had been busy with another docket when she was told about a body found in Corlett Drive.
“The body was seen by a person passing by but they weren’t sure and when they passed again they called the police.”
Mahwete said when she arrived on the scene she found her colleagues at the open space with a ditch. She said it seemed as if people from the informal settlement dumbed their rubbish in the ditch.
Mahwete said a construction worker pointed out the body to police.
“I spoke to him and asked him if there was anything else he saw besides the body. I looked around the body and found two lids that smelt like petrol. There was also a blue blanket that had blood stains as well as a plastic bag with blood stains.”
Mokoena was reported missing on April 28 last year and her photographs circulated on social media. Her body was found the next day in a shallow grave.
On June 30, Mantsoe was denied bail and Magistrate Carlos Labuschagne read into record that Mantsoe was facing charges of murder and defeating the ends of justice, while handing down his bail judgement. The charges constitute a schedule six criminal offence — which could result in life imprisonment if found guilty.
Labuschagne said that Mantsoe had wrongfully and intentionally burnt the body of Mokoena, cleaned the crime scene and knew his actions would result in her body being burnt beyond recognition.
According to Mantsoe, she had previously taken pills and was saved by himself and a security guard, which was why he believed she had committed suicide.