Johannesburg - Sandile Mantsoe was on Wednesday found guilty of killing his ex-girlfriend Karabo Mokoena.
Judge AJ Johnson found Mantsoe found guilty of assault with the intention to cause grievous bodily harm; murder and attempting to defeat the ends of justice in the South Gauteng High Court.
Mantsoe is accused of stabbing 22-year-old Mokoena, dumping her body in a veld and setting her alight in April 2017.
But he denied killing her, claiming he found his former girlfriend dead in his upmarket Sandton apartment after she supposedly committed suicide. Mantsoe has admitted to disposing of Mokoena’s body.
In April last year, Mokoena made headlines after a frantic, social media led search for her was launched after she had disappeared.
Judge Johnson tore Mantsoe to shreds, slamming the convicted murderer as "not an honest witness" when he said Karabo wanted to commit suicide.
The judge 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 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.
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 her 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.
The Star and ANA