Karabo ‘could have been killed in rit­ual’ Ac­cused con­tra­dicts orig­i­nal po­lice state­ment

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE - SHAIN GERMANER

NOW that the media ban pre­vent­ing re­portage on Sandile Mantsoe’s case has been lifted, the al­leged rit­u­al­is­tic mo­tive for Karabo Mokoena’s mur­der can now be re­vealed.

Mantsoe stands ac­cused of killing Mokoena, his girl­friend, af­ter she went miss­ing on April 28.

Her charred re­mains were found soon af­ter in a shal­low grave in Lyn­d­hurst.

Be­fore yes­ter­day’s court rul­ing, the tes­ti­mony of the in­ves­ti­gat­ing of­fi­cer, Cap­tain Phillip Radebe, on May 24, lay­ing out what he called the State’s “very strong” case against the ac­cused, could not be re­ported.

Ac­cord­ing to Radebe, Mantsoe and Mokoena broke up in April af­ter the ac­cused “bru­tally as­saulted” her.

On the night of April 27, Mantsoe was seen en­ter­ing his home at Sand­ton Skye Apart­ments with Mokoena. It was the last time she was seen alive.

On May 10, Mokoena’s fam­ily asked po­lice to ques­tion Mantsoe, with the boyfriend deny­ing any knowl­edge of her where­abouts.

Ac­cord­ing to Radebe, af­ter ar­rest­ing Mantsoe, he con­fessed that af­ter killing her, he had taken Karabo’s body to veld in the Bram­ley area, where he put a tyre on it, doused it with swim­ming pool acid and petrol and then set it alight. Mantsoe later pointed out where he had done so.

“It’s still un­clear whether the de­ceased was alive or not at the time ( Mantsoe) burned her; the post-mortem re­port is still out­stand­ing,” said Radebe.

He said that Mantsoe had con­fessed to the mo­tive behind the crime as well.

Af­ter he fell in love with Mokoena, he in­tro­duced her to a rit­ual in which they mixed blood to bond, but also to en­sure his busi­ness as a forex trader would suc­ceed.

The pair also al­legedly got match­ing cross-shaped tat­toos.

“The ap­pli­cant’s busi­ness was no longer do­ing well af­ter he and the de­ceased ter­mi­nated their af­fair,” said Radebe, and Mantsoe be­lieved he been jinxed af­ter the break-up.

Radebe said Mantsoe de­cided “he had no op­tion but to sac­ri­fice the de­ceased and cut the bond”.

How­ever, in Mantsoe’s af­fi­davit sub­mit­ted to the court, he said he had found Mokoena’s body only af­ter leav­ing her at his apart­ment for about two hours on April 28.

“I pan­icked. I was so scared ev­ery­one was go­ing to think I killed her, as I was al­ready being painted as an abu­sive boyfriend.”

He went to look for a rub­bish bin to trans­port her body to his car, where he ad­mit­ted to burn­ing the body with petrol.

“Karabo had been sui­ci­dal... A cou­ple of weeks back, she tried to com­mit sui­cide.”

Mantsoe de­nied the rit­u­al­is­tic as­pects claimed by the State.

He also in­sisted he had been co­erced into point­ing out the body and that his state­ment had been given only un­der the threat that po­lice of­fi­cers would as­sault him.

Sandile Mantsoe

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