“I put petrol on her and then I walked away.” These were the chilling words Sandile Mantsoe gave to a police officer as he stood at the scene of where he disposed of the body of his girlfriend‚ Karabo Mokoena‚ the High Court in Johannesburg heard on Wednesday.
The forex trader is standing trial for brutally murdering his 22-year-old Mokoena in April last year. Colonel Andre de Klerk testified how Mantsoe had taken them on the journey he travelled on the evening he disposed of Mokoena’s body.
According to De Klerk‚ Mantsoe had first taken them to his luxury Sandton apartment where he claimed to have found Mokoena dead after she allegedly committed suicide.
“I put her in the back of my car‚” Mantsoe was quoted as saying‚ adding that he had used a dustbin to carry the body from his apartment to his car‚ which was parked in the basement. Mantsoe then took the officers to a BP garage on Grayston Drive in Sandton. He said:”This is the garage where I bought the petrol to burn Karabo’s body’‚” De Klerk quoted Mantsoe‚ reading through notes he had taken on that day.
Mantsoe led the police to his mother’s house where he said he had collected a tyre and pool acid from the shed. No one had seen him remove the items. He then took the officers to a ditch in the middle of a dumping area in Lyndhurst‚ saying he was familiar with the area.
“I rolled her body in with the tyre around her. She was facing the road. I then put petrol on her and then I walked away‚” Mantsoe was quoted as saying.
The married father of three‚ who is estranged from his wife‚ claimed that he came home from a business meeting to find that Mokoena had committed suicide in his apartment. He alleged that she had stabbed herself in the neck. He stated that out of fear and panic that he would be blamed for the death of his on-and-off girlfriend‚ he disposed of her body.
Another police officer‚ Mokgaetji Mahwete‚ had earlier testified that Mantsoe had said Mokoena needed to die to break a blood ritual that they had entered into in order to boost his business dealings. Mantsoe allegedly claimed that his business had begun to suffer as a result of the two of them splitting up.
In order to fix this‚ a sacrifice had to be made and this sacrifice was Mokoena‚ Mahwete told the court. Mantsoe has denied these allegations. He faces charges of premeditated murder‚ defeating the ends of justice and assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm. Mantsoe has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The trial continues.