Court to hear arguments in the Karabo Mokoena murder trial

Murder accused Sandile Mantsoe has appeared briefly in the High Court. (Amanda Khoza, News24)
Murder accused Sandile Mantsoe has appeared briefly in the High Court. (Amanda Khoza, News24)

The South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg will on Wednesday hear arguments from both the defence and prosecution teams in the trial of Sandile Mantsoe, who is accused of killing his ex-girlfriend Karabo Mokoena in April 2017.  

Acting judge Peet Johnson announced this week during court proceedings that he would deliver his verdict after the oral arguments. 

On Monday, the defence made an unexpected move and closed its case without calling any witnesses to testify. 

Mantsoe's lawyer, Victor Simelane, did not give reasons to the court for the decision. 

"Is he aware that he could be sentenced to life imprisonment?" Johnson asked. 

Mantsoe, who appeared calm during proceedings said he was aware.

Speaking on the sidelines during a short adjournment, Simelane told reporters that the State had not proven its case beyond reasonable doubt and therefore, "we are not going to help them".

Mokoena's charred remains were found by a passer-by in Lyndhurst, Johannesburg on April 29, 2017.

Premeditated murder, defeating ends of justice

Mantsoe has painted Mokoena as a violent person who was "addicted" to the high life.

In a statement read out in court previously, Mantsoe claimed Mokoena used to beat him up and that she had become angry and depressed after she was raped by the friend of a former lover.

He also alleged that Mokoena used to cut herself, and that her sister had witnessed it.

Mantsoe faces charges of premeditated murder and defeating the ends of justice.

He has also been charged with assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm for allegedly assaulting Mokoena on March 27, 2017.

He has pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

Mantsoe, a married father of three, had reportedly been in a romantic relationship with Mokoena since October 2016. It is believed that he and his wife were estranged.

The accused has denied killing Mokoena but, during his bail application, he said he disposed of her body after he came home and found that she had committed suicide.

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