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Court hears Mantsoe attacked Mokoena month before her death

Karabo Mokoena's body was found dumped in the veld in Lyndhurst almost a year ago.

Karabo Mokoena was allegedly murdered by her boyfriend Sandile Mantsoe. Picture: Instagram.

JOHANNESBURG - The High Court has heard the man accused of murdering Karabo Mokoena had attacked her just a month before her burnt body was discovered.

Sandile Mantsoe is appearing in the dock on Monday for trial proceedings.

Mokoena's body was found dumped in the veld in Lyndhurst almost a year ago.

The State led by Advocate Phakanyiswa Marasela started proceedings by reading the charge sheet against Mantsoe, which list counts of murder, assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and defeating the ends of justice.

Mantsoe pleaded not guilty to all three charges with his lawyer Victor Simelane, insisting that Mokoena committed suicide.

Mokoena’s friend Stephanie Leong has taken the witness stand, giving her account of the relationship between Mantsoe and Mokoena.

She’s described their relationship as toxic, inconsistent and violent at times.

Leong will remain on the stand for the rest of this afternoon’s proceedings.

'TOXIC RELATIONSHIP'

A woman who was close to Mokoena has told the court that she warned her friend about her toxic relationship with Mantsoe.

Leong battled to hold back the tears in court where Mantsoe was in the dock.

She told the court how on 26 March last year - just a month before the murder — she had witnessed Mantsoe grab Mokoena who was drunk at the time and push her during an altercation.

Breaking down in tears, Leong said after this, she asked Mokoena why she insisted on staying with Mantsoe as it was clear that he did not love her.

She says on 30 March - days after the incident – the deceased sent her pictures of her bruised neck and eye from hospital, asking what happened on the night they were together as she did not remember.

Leong says while she did not know when the injuries were inflicted and who had assaulted her, she was sure Mantsoe was responsible as he later paid her hospital bill.

She says she saw Mokoena days later and spent the night with her at a hotel in Sandton.

Thereafter she didn’t see her friend alive again.

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