Sandile Mantsoe convicted for the murder of his girlfriend Karabo Mokoena. Picture: Nokuthula Mbatha/ANA Pictures

Johannesburg - Sandile Mantsoe has been found guilty of the gruesome murder of Karabo Mokoena in a scathing judgment handed down on Wednesday afternoon in the high court in Joburg.

The murder judgment sparked scenes of jubilation and tears from Karabo's family, who were seated in the front of the public gallery and included the deceased's mother Keabetswe Mokoena, older sister Bontle and paternal uncle Tshepo Mokoena.

Judge AJ Johnson tore Mantsoe to shreds, slamming the convicted murderer as "not an honest witness" when he said Karabo wanted to commit suicide.

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Judge Johnson 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 packed gallery also included activists and members of the ANC Women's League, members of which were present throughout the 11-day trial.

Mantsoe was also found guilty of attempting to defeat the ends of justice, after he disposed of Karabo's lifeless body by burning it with a petrol and acid-doused tyre, and discarding his 22-year-old former girlfriend in an open veld ditch on Corlett Drive near Sandton.

Speaking after the judgment, Karabo's mother said this was a huge relief for the family, and would give closure to them.

She did, however, not want to speculate on the sentence, saying this was up to the court to decide.

He was also found guilty of assault with the intention to cause grievous bodily harm.

Dressed in a trendy blue leather jacket, with a fresh haircut trimmed around the sides, Mantsoe remained stoic and emotionless throughout the judgment.

He let out a smile and a peace sign with his fingers as he was taken down to the cells.

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The Star