Her killer ex-boyfriend is now serving 32-years in jail after being sentenced on 3 May 2018.
The lead investigator in the Karabo Mokoena case is still convinced that the young woman was murdered as part of a ritual killing â€“ and has revealed that â€œ60%â€ of her internal organsâ€š including her heartâ€š were missing when her burnt body was discovered.
â€œWhen the body was foundâ€š the body of Karaboâ€š there were about 60% body parts missing… From my experience such things… you find in cases that are cult or maybe ritual-related mattersâ€šâ€ Captain Malefetsane Phillip Radebe said.
He added that remnants of Karaboâ€™s skull and part of her rib cage were all that remained of her upper body.
â€œThings that will direct the pathologist in terms of him making a decisionâ€š or making a direction in order to say: this is the cause of deathâ€š things like intestinesâ€š internal organsâ€š they were not there.
Asked if Karaboâ€™s heart had been foundâ€š he responded: â€œThe heart was not there.â€
â€œIt also makes sense that there is high probability that this matter could beâ€š wasâ€š a ritual murderâ€šâ€ Radebe said.
Radebe said one of the witnesses that he had first interviewed as part of his investigation claimed that Mantsoe had taken Karabo â€œto a certain place where they had to do this ritualâ€.
â€œThey were apparently cut somewhere on their bodies and their blood was mixedâ€š and the purpose of that ritual was to tie them in terms of a relationshipâ€š in terms of them growing financiallyâ€š and part of the conditions of the ritual was that should any of the two separateâ€¦ then one needs to be sacrificed in order to attain whatever the ritual was all about.â€
This story was reiterated by â€œtwo to threeâ€ other witnessesâ€š he saidâ€š leading him to believe that Karaboâ€™s murder â€œhad something to do with some cultâ€.
Johannesburg High Court Acting Judge Peet Johnson did not accept Constable Helen Mahweteâ€™s evidence that Mantsoe had actually confessed to killing Karabo as part of a ritual murder.
Mahwete testified that Mantsoe had admitted to her thatâ€š when he began dating Karaboâ€š they had gone to a person named Masterâ€š who performed a ritual to connect them spiritually and so that their foreign exchange business could be strong. Should they partâ€š a sacrifice would have to be madeâ€š Mahwete claimed.
Prosecutor Phakanyiswa Marasela said she did not pursue these ritual murder allegations because they were not accepted by the court.
â€œIf the court does not accept itâ€š then definitely I cannot accept it. Becauseâ€š in the first placeâ€š it was said to a constableâ€š and she testified about that ritual thing. But the court said we cannot accept. So I could not accept it.â€
As a resultâ€š Marasela saidâ€š she believed abuse was at the heart of why Mantsoe had murdered Karabo.
â€œFor meâ€š as I looked at him in courtâ€š and as I spoke with him as I cross-examined himâ€š he is a person who does not value a woman. That is what I could see from him: that he does not value a womanâ€š and hence that led him to not value the life of a person.â€
– TimesLive –