Sandile Mantsoe was found guilty of killing Karabo Mokoena. Picture: Dimpho Maja/ANA

Johannesburg - The family of murdered Karabo Mokoena have called her killer a cold-hearted murderer, while the State plans to seek the harshest sentence for him.

Karabo’s mother, Lorraine Mokoena, said Sandile Mantsoe had shown no remorse after he murdered and disposed of her daughter’s disfigured body.

A visibly angry Mokoena also accused Mantsoe’s mother of being happy that her son killed Karabo, because she showed no urgency to rein in her abusive son.

“It is very painful to see this man’s lack of remorse for what he did to my daughter. He doesn’t show any guilt whatsoever for what he has done.

“He’s acting as if everything is normal, without a care in the world about what has happened,” a fuming Mokoena said.

She spoke to The Star yesterday following the scathing judgment in the high court in Joburg, in which Mantsoe was found guilty of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, murder and attempting to defeat the ends of justice.

The assault occurred in March last year, while the other two crimes took place a month later, the court found.

Judge AJ Johnson, in delivering his judgment, tore Mantsoe’s version of events to shreds, labelling him a dishonest witness for claiming that Karabo had committed suicide and that she had shown a pattern of trying to end her life.

Mantsoe had pleaded not guilty to killing his 22-year-old ex-girlfriend, saying she had stabbed herself in the neck.

He told the court, however, that he disposed of Karabo’s body by putting a tyre around her, dousing it with petrol and acid, and igniting it in a ditch in Lyndhurst.

“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 remarked.

After being found guilty, Mantsoe chatted to several journalists, insisting that the only thing he was guilty of was “trying to build Karabo up”.

Karabo’s mother welcomed the judgment, but said she was conflicted about whether she would be willing to come face to face with her daughter’s killer.

She also criticised Mantsoe’s family for not reaching out to them.

“What do you do with people like that? What do you do with people who don’t show any remorse?” Mokoena asked, referring to Mantsoe’s family.

“In the first place, Sandile’s mother should have approached me as Karabo’s mother, so that we could have addressed the abuse he inflicted on my daughter when they were still dating.

“I think Karabo is happy where she is now”

Mokoena said although she was relieved by the judgment, this did not mean the end of her restless and troubled nights.

“I wouldn’t necessarily say that my sleepless nights over the pain I feel are over, not at all.

MEC Nandi Mayathula-Khoza and Karabo's mother, Keabetswe. Picture: Khaya Koko/The Star

“But I can at least say there is some relief after the verdict.

“But I am still not well - I’m not okay,” she added.

Karabo’s paternal uncle, Tshepo Mokoena, called Mantsoe “sick and not normal for not showing remorse”.

“He has not yet faced reality,” the uncle said.

Phindi Mjonondwane, Gauteng spokesperson for the National Prosecuting Authority, said the State would be seeking the “harshest possible sentence for the accused” when sentencing proceedings commenced today, and Mantsoe awaited his fate.

She said she could not pre-empt whether the defence would ask for a psychiatric report in mitigation of sentence.

Mjonondwane pointed out that the State would be calling on Karabo’s family to tell the court how they have suffered since Karabo disappeared and the shock of the subsequent heinous crime perpetrated against her.

The Star