State closes its case in Karabo Mokoena murder trial

Suspect: Alleged murderer Sandile Mantsoe. (Leon Sadiki, City Press)
Suspect: Alleged murderer Sandile Mantsoe. (Leon Sadiki, City Press)

The State has closed its case in the trial of Sandile Mantsoe, who is accused of killing his ex-girlfriend Karabo Mokoena on April 28, 2017.

On Thursday morning, two security guards who work at the Sandton apartment where Mantsoe used to live disputed his claims that they once found Mokoena on the floor with a box of pills in an attempted suicide.

One guard, Happy Maphiri, said he had never entered Mantsoe's apartment while the other, Lucky Nongoko, said he had helped Mantsoe unlock his apartment door when he claimed that Mokoena had locked herself inside and refused to open.

READ: 'I put petrol on her and walked away' - court hears in Karabo Mokoena murder trial

Inside, they found Mokoena asleep claiming she had not heard Mantsoe's knocks.

Mokoena looked and spoke well and no pills were found, he said.

On Thursday morning, the State also called Tapiwa Majengwa, who is a cleaner at the apartment block. Majengwa said on April 29 last year he found Mokoena's passport and identity book in a dustbin on the same floor as Mantsoe's apartment.

Alleged suicide attempt not recorded

Mokoena's charred remains were found by a passer-by in Lyndhurst, Johannesburg, on the same day.

On Wednesday, Sergeant Pule Kotelo from the Sandton police station said that he had gone through the apartment's occurrence book but that there was no recording of the alleged suicide attempt.

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

In a statement read out in court last week, Mantsoe claimed Mokoena used to beat him up and that she had become angry and depressed after she was raped by a 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.

The case was postponed to Monday. 

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