Murdered Karabo Mokoena's charred body was found in a shallow grave in Johannesburg. File picture: Facebook

Johannesburg - Keabetswe Mokoena on Thursday described in the South Gauteng High Court how she urged her daughter Karabo Mokoena to leave convicted killer Sandile Mantsoe and report him the police for assault.

Testifying in aggravation of sentence, Keabetswe said her daughter would call her and send her photographs of her battered and bruised self, saying Mantsoe had beaten her up. 

''I asked her why she stayed in the relationship... she said she loved him. Karabo would not want to go open a case, she said everything will be alright.''

Mokoena's charred remains were found in a ditch in Lyndhurst, Johannesburg in April 2017.

Keabetswe said she had doubts about the relationship after meeting Mantsoe for the first time. Mantsoe would not look her in the eyes, she said.

''When she came with him, I could tell that that murderer was not good for my child.  As a mother you can see when people are in love. When I met him, he was avoiding eye contact... what I saw was not a couple in love, they just looked like friends,'' she said.

She said Karabo's death has hurt the family, and that Mantsoe's apology in court did not matter at all. 

"It's like there's a hole in my heart,'' she said after describing her late 22-year-old daughter as a bubbly and happy young woman.

African News Agency/ANA