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Claims that Karabo Mokoena committed suicide labelled a joke

On the stand, Stephanie Leong was asked whether Mokoena had any signs of being suicidal to which she replied no.

Sandile Mantsoe in court on 15 September 2017 for the murder of his girlfriend Karabo Mokoena. Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - A close friend of murder victim Karabo Mokoena has described claims that she committed suicide as a joke.

An emotional Stephanie Leong took the witness stand in the High Court in Johannesburg on Monday in Sandile Mantsoe's trial.

He's accused of murdering Mokoena about a year ago and dumping her burnt body in the veld in Lyndhurst.

Mantsoe has pleaded not guilty to murder, assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and defeating the ends of justice after the charges were presented to him.

However, his lawyer Victor Simelane insists that Mokoena killed herself.

On the stand, Leong was asked whether Mokoena had any signs of being suicidal to which she replied no.

To the contrary, she said that after her friend broke up with Mantsoe, she was positive about life with plans to complete her degree and start an organisation for abused women.

Simelane also asked Leong whether she was aware of an incident where Mokoena had attempted suicide by taking tablets.

Leong denied this.

Court proceedings have been adjourned and will resume on Tuesday.

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