'Judge went overboard' – Sandile Mantsoe's lawyer after sentencing

2018-05-03 18:22
Sandile Mantsoe. (Screengrab)

Sandile Mantsoe. (Screengrab)

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Convicted murderer Sandile Mantsoe's lawyer says they will be appealing his 32-year sentence and the murder conviction.

Advocate Victor Simelane told reporters in the South Gauteng High Court on Thursday that Acting Judge Peet Johnson imposed a harsh sentence on Mantsoe.

"The sentence itself was harsh. We expected at least 15 years, that is the prescribed minimum. But I think the judge here went overboard. There was absolutely no reason for him to do that.

"We would expect sentences of this nature for people who get out there with firearms and robbing banks... not a matter which (transpired) from a love affair because that is what actually happened," he said.

Mantsoe was sentenced to a cumulative 32 years in prison after murdering his ex-girlfriend, Karabo Mokoena.

READ: Sandile Mantsoe sentenced to 32 years in prison after murdering Karabo Mokoena

He was sentenced to 30 years for the murder, five years for assault and four years for the attempt to defeat or obstruct the course of justice.

'Devil in disguise'

Part of the sentences for the assault and attempt to defeat the course of justice will run concurrently with the murder sentence.

His effective sentence amounts to 32 years, the court said.  

While handing down his sentence, Johnson described Mantsoe as the devil in disguise. Members of the public reacted with gasps, while some shouted "Yes! Yes!"

He said Mantsoe deserved a harsh sentence.

"For you it cannot be business as usual anymore. The court must remind you that a person's life is not cheap," Johnson said.

Johnson said Mokoena's memory would live on and the community should know she did not die in vain. He also added that nothing that Mokoena could have done warranted the abuse she suffered.

Family had hoped for harsher sentence

He said in sentencing Mantsoe, the intention was not to punish him but to warn others that abuse against women would not be tolerated.

Meanwhile Mokoena's uncle, Tshepo, said no amount of time spent behind bars by her murderer would bring her back.

He said although the sentence was appropriate, the family would have liked for Mantsoe to be jailed for longer.

"As the judge has unpacked, he is not remorseful and he is regarded as an evil person," Tshepo said.

Mokoena's father, Thabang, said he expected a harsher sentence to be imposed on Mantsoe.

READ: ‘He is like a psychopath’ – Karabo Mokoena’s family on Sandile Mantsoe after his sentencing

"The man thought he would get away with murder, but the devil will always be exposed. I wouldn't say I accept the apology. This is not the right time. Accepting the apology today would be very difficult.

"To bury a daughter, I understand. But a burnt body of the daughter... I couldn't even see her, it was bad. All the young men out there who abuse women, wait until you have a daughter, wait until your daughter is abused, it is going to be very painful," he said.

During sentencing proceedings earlier on Thursday morning Mantsoe said: "I am very remorseful. I knew a lot of things about her that she was trying to escape from. Both me and her were very secretive. I feel like I had failed her... I disappointed her. It hurt me because I inspired her a lot."

Mokoena's charred remains were found by a passer-by in Lyndhurst, Johannesburg, in April 2017.

Read more on:    sandile mantsoe  |  karabo mokoena  |  crime  |  gender violence

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