The revelations are contained in Sandile Mantsoe’s police statement recorded in May last year and read out in the South Gauteng High Court in Joburg.
It was read out by Sandton detective Captain Roger Mahundla, who took down Mantsoe’s statement the day after the murder accused was arrested.
This comes as eerie details also emerged of an alleged sacrificial ritual in which the accused and the deceased had supposedly been embroiled during their romantic relationship, in order for Mantsoe’s foreign exchange (forex) business to prosper.
The ritual was the reason Mantsoe allegedly killed Karabo.
Reading out the statement, Mahundla said Mantsoe told him the accused and Karabo had been holed up in his Sandton apartment from April 24 to 27, when the deceased returned home to Diepkloof, Soweto.
The next day, the statement added, Karabo returned to the apartment. Mantsoe said he found Mokoena lying dead on his apartment floor with blood seeping from a gash on her neck, as she “had committed suicide by stabbing herself”.
The accused said he was not there when Karabo killed herself. Mantsoe said he panicked, wrapped a towel around her neck and decided to dispose of her body as he feared being accused of her killing. Mantsoe said she had attempted suicide many times, a fact of which Karabo’s sister, Bontle, was aware.
The accused said he bought a tyre and some petrol, and decided to dispose of her body in the veld near his apartment.
He placed her body in a wheelie bin and pulled it to the veld in his car. He said he put the tyre around her body, drenched it with petrol and set it ablaze.
“I didn’t kill her. I panicked. She committed suicide. There are no previous cases against me. I have been recently diagnosed with bipolar disorder and I have been taking medication,” the startling statement said.
Earlier, Constable Helen Mahwete testified that Mantsoe told her on the night of his arrest that he “sacrificed” Karabo because she violated a covenant into which they entered at the start of their relationship.
The covenant, Mantsoe allegedly said, was conducted by a person named Master, who told them, should they break-up, “one of them had to do a sacrifice”.
This “spiritual ritual” was to allegedly strengthen Mantsoe’s forex business.
Mantsoe faces three charges: assault with the intention to cause grievous bodily harm, murder and defeating the ends of justice.
He has pleaded not guilty. The trial continues today.