Until the very end, Mantsoe denied killing Karabo, saying he only set her body alight.
Johannesburg – Sandile Mantsoe was on Wednesday sentenced to an effective 32 years in jail in the high court in Johannesburg.
Mantsoe was found guilty on Wednesday of killing his ex-girlfriend Karabo Mokoena.
Judge AJ Johnson found Mantsoe found guilty of assault with the intention to cause grievous bodily harm; murder and attempting to defeat the ends of justice.
Mantsoe was accused of stabbing 22-year-old Mokoena, dumping her body in a veld and setting her alight in April 2017.
But he denied killing her, claiming he found his former girlfriend dead in his upmarket Sandton apartment after she supposedly committed suicide. Mantsoe has admitted to disposing of Mokoena’s body.
In April last year, Mokoena made headlines after a frantic, social media led search for her was launched after she had disappeared.
Earlier on Thursday Mantsoe told the South Gauteng High Court he was sorry for burning Mokoena’s body, reiterating that he did not kill her.
”I apologise to the family, the community and the people who look up to me..burning Karabo was a shortcoming,” he said in mitigation of sentence.
Prosecutor Phakanyiswa Marasela asked him why he was apologising only after having been found guilty by the court.
”Why didn’t you give an apology here in front of everyone and family? What took you so long?” she asked.
Mantsoe said he wrote a letter to the Mokoena family.
”It hasn’t taken long…I was incarcerated. I wrote a letter to the family apologising and also sent my condolences”.
Judge Johnson interjected, and asked him why he was apologising ”in half” and not saying sorry for killing Mokoena.
”I did not murder her,” Mantsoe said.
On Wednesday while delivering his verdict, Judge Johnson tore Mantsoe to shreds, slamming the convicted murderer as “not an honest witness” when he said Karabo wanted to commit suicide.
The judge also slammed Mantsoe for being “involved in a web of lies”.
“The last thing a person would do if they found out that a loved one had committed suicide would be to try to exonerate himself of a crime he potentially may be convicted of,” the judge rebuked.
The Star and ANA