Sandile Mantsoe allegedly confessed that he killed Karabo Mokoena and burnt her body, a court has heard. File picture: Supplied

Johannesburg - Sandile Mantsoe confessed that he killed Karabo Mokoena and burnt her body.

This startling revelation emerged on day two of Mantsoe's trial for Karabo's murder at the High Court in Joburg, when Captain Bhekisisa Mhlongo from the Diepkloof police station in Soweto testified.

Mhlongo told the court that Mantsoe confessed to him at the Sandton police station, after the officer and his colleague, Sergeant Matshidiso Maseko, had arrested the murder accused for kidnapping at his Sandton apartment.

At the Sandton station, Mantsoe made his shocking confession.

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"I asked him about the video footage of him pushing a big dustbin. That's when the accused told me that he killed Karabo. I asked him what he did with her body. He told me he took her to Sandringham and burnt her body.

"I told him I'm coming back with paper to record his confession. When I returned, the accused had changed his mind and refused to confess," Mhlongo said.

He added that Mantsoe made the statement voluntarily and was not beaten up to make his statement.

Earlier, Maseko had told the court of how Karabo's mother, Keabetswe Mokoena, had come to the Diepkloof station on May 10 last year to report her daughter missing.
Maseko works as a domestic violence coordinator, as well as with missing person's cases.

"I asked the mother whether she (Karabo) had a boyfriend, and she said yes, 'his name is Sandile'. The mother said she last spoke to her daughter on the phone on the day of April 27," Maseko testified.

Later on the evening of May 10, Maseko and her two colleagues, one of whom was Mhlongo, said they went to Mantsoe's apartment building and viewed video footage showing the accused as the last person seen with Karabo.

Both Maseko and Mhlongo told the court that they observed blood stains inside Manstoe's flat, inside his bedroom and hidden under a rug in the corner.

The accused's room carpet was also wet as though it had been thoroughly cleaned, the two officers said.

Probed on why his carpet was wet, Mantsoe apparently told officers that he was moving house and wanted to clean his flat for future tenants to find it clean.

"I asked him where Karabo was because he was the last person to see her. He said he didn't know. I decided to arrest him for kidnapping," Maseko said.

They took the accused to the Sandton station, where he confessed to the murder, according to Mhlongo.

However, Mantsoe has pleaded not guilty to all three charges he faces; namely, assault with the intention to do grievous body harm, murder and defeating the ends of justice.

His defence Advocate Victor Simelane has told the court that they would argue that Karabo committed suicide. He said Mantsoe disposed of her body because the accused was afraid Karabo's death could be pinned on him.

This was after a slew of assault allegations has been levelled against Mantsoe by Karabo, which people have testified to this week.

The trial continues.
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The Star