South Gauteng High Court Judge Peet Johnson on Thursday sentenced convicted killer Sandile Mantsoe to 32 years in prison, describing him as a ”devil in disguise” who heartlessly killed Karabo Mokoena.
Delivering the scathing judgment, Judge Johnson painted a picture of an evil Mantsoe who murdered and burnt Mokoena’s body in 2017 and then continued with his life as if nothing had happened.
”This court cannot describe you in any other way than the devil in disguise. Murder is a heinous crime that this court can describe as a crime of no return. The deceased had a constitutional right to life, you had no right to dispose her life…life is the most important asset to everyone…in this case, the deceased has nothing, she’s gone forever, thanks to you,” Johnson said to Mantsoe.
Judge Johnson sentenced Mantsoe to thirty years for murder, five years for assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm and four for defeating the ends of justice. Mantsoe will serve an effective 32 years, as the sentences will run concurrently.
The judge said Mantsoe gave men a ”bad name” and deserved serious punishment. Femicide, he said, continued in the country despite serious jail terms imposed on assailants.
”For you, it cannot be business as usual anymore, you caused an imbalance in the scale of justice which the courts must correct. Sentence imposed today will not bring her back…you have shown no remorse at all even in your evidence today, you tried to avoid responsibility, you maligned the deceased, even going further as accusing her father of abusing her daughter, an allegation refuted by the sister.”
The packed public gallery audibly breathed a sigh of relief as the sentence was read out. Mantsoe remained emotionless as he stood in the dock.
Mokoena’s charred remains were found by passers-by in a ditch in Lyndhurst, Johannesburg in April 2017.