Karabo Mokoena: A family's heartbreak

2017-05-12 18:28
Tshepo Mokoena, uncle of Karabo Mokoena who was allegedly brutally killed by her ex-boyfriend. (Nation Nyoka, News24)

Tshepo Mokoena, uncle of Karabo Mokoena who was allegedly brutally killed by her ex-boyfriend. (Nation Nyoka, News24)

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Johannesburg – “For someone like him just to take [her] life like that, I think it’s unacceptable”.

These were the words of Tshepo Mokoena the uncle of Karabo Mokoena a 22-year-old woman who was allegedly killed and burnt by her former boyfriend.The young woman's murder has been trending on social media since the arrest of the 27-year-old suspect on Thursday.

Mokoena was speaking at the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court after Sandile Mantsoe was remanded in custody pending a bail application due to take place on May 24. 

Earlier on Friday morning, Mokoena’s mother wept in the court room. She was surrounded by an entourage of relatives and friends.

“I think the family is going through a lot of pain. This matter is now becoming national, the more people are talking about it, I think it's stressing the family out,” said Mokoena.

Speaking on behalf of the family, Mokoena said the family never saw the death coming. Mokoena explained that the family had also done a lot for abused women and children, and never expected to lose her like this.

“We never knew that all we were giving would come to our doorstep, so we are very traumatised,” he said.

Mokoena said he had helped to raise Karabo and that she was like a daughter to him. When asked what he wanted to say to the accused, he said that he did not want to say much, but that he would rather let the law take its course, and leave the accused’s life in the hands of the Almighty.

He described his niece as a bubbly, intelligent and beautiful woman who had a love for education.

Some family members and friends shouted at Mantsoe that he had no remorse as he made his way up from the cells, some also clapped when the magistrate explained that the suspect could possibly face a life sentence.

Khwezi Mthethwa, a close friend of Karabo told News24 that her friend had made a commitment to move on with her life when the relationship ended with Mantsoe. She said the two were allegedly in a toxic and abusive relationship during their short time together.


“Karabo’s mom can’t enjoy Mother’s Day because her daughter is gone. She’s less of a mother now, if I can put it that way, because one of her daughters has been painfully, and brutally taken away from her,” she cried.

Mthethwa said that she hoped justice would be served, and that her friend would rest in peace.

“I just want to ask everyone to not let Karabo’s death be in vain. If you know someone who is going through this, reach out, speak to them. Never shut them out, or make them feel like you’re never ... there for them,” she said.

NPA spokesperson Phindi Louw-Mjonondwane said the NPA plans to oppose bail. 

Mokoena said there would be an indication on Monday on the details of the funeral, pending further investigation.

“My humble request to the media is that I have done enough interviews, let’s let the police do their work,” he said.

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  crime

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