Sandile Mantsoe has been found guilty of killing his ex-girlfriend Karabo Mokoena. File picture: ANA

Johannesburg - Convicted killer Sandile Mantsoe on Thursday told the South Gauteng High Court he was sorry for burning his girlfriend Karabo Mokoena's body, reiterating that he did not kill her. 

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

''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.

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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 Peet 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.

Johnson has found him guilty on all charges -- murder, assault with the intention to do grievous bodily harm and defeating the ends of justice. Mantsoe had pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

African News Agency/ANA