Colonel Andre de Klerk presented evidence of a point-out encounter he had with murder accused Sandile Mantsoe, describing places where Mantsoe allegedly dumped and burnt the body of his former girlfriend, Karabo Mokoena.
Mantsoe has pleaded not guilty to murdering Mokoena.
On Wednesday, prosecutor Mike Hlatshwayo commenced court proceedings by entering into evidence a photo of Mokoena’s injuries which she sustained on March 27 2017. Defence attorney Victor Simelane reinforced the injuries were not caused by his client, which Judge Johnson and the prosecution verified.
After entering the evidence, Colonel De Klerk entered the witness box. De Klerk recounted how he was notfitied on the morning of May 11 that he would question Mantsoe at the Sandton police station. De Klerk was assigned to observe a point-out of several sites where the disposal and burning of Mokoena’s body had occurred.
De Klerk explained he had arrived at the police station just after Mantsoe had given a DNA sample. The colonel said he began by informing Mantsoe of his rights and explaining to the murder accused he was not obligated to do a point-out.
De Klerk then sat down with Mantsoe and began to interview him. De Klerk orally presented a record of their interview. He repeated that anything Mantsoe pointed out or said to him could be used against him as evidence in a court of law. Mantsoe said “I understand” telling the colonel a legal representative had advised him to “cooperate with the police.” The colonel then continued with the interview.
Mantsoe told De Klerk he was there to “do point-outs of where I dumped my ex-girlfriend Karabo Mokoena’s body. I was there. I did remove her body from my apartment took her to a space, put a tire around her and burned her body.”
When asked if Mantsoe thought he would receive any benefits from the point-out, Mantsoe allegedly responded, “[I] just want to tell the truth and show where and what happened.”
Mantsoe then told De Klerk that on April 28 2017 at approximately 5 to 6pm, he “discovered Karabo’s body and planned to discard of her.” He then confirmed that he would take the colonel to the places that were significant in the deceased’s fate.
The colonel described Mantsoe’s manner as “confident, cooperate, sober, relaxed, at ease, and respectful.” He also noted Mantsoe spoke “high English” and was “well-educated.”
At 2.20pm on May 11, Mantsoe took De Klerk, a police photographer and other law enforcement officials to the Sandton Skye apartment building. There he showed them where his Mercedes-Benz, which was used to transport Mokoena’s body, was parked. He described how he used a bin to move her body from his apartment to the backseat of his car. He then brought the colonel to the fourth floor and pointed out where he had found the bin.
Mantsoe then took de Klerk to a BP petrol station on Grayston drive in Sandton. According to De Klerk’s testimony, this was where Mantsoe told him he had purchased the petrol with which to burn Mokoena’s body. De Klerk then informed the court he, Mantsoe and other police officials travelled to Mantsoe’s mother’s house where Mantsoe had taken a tyre and acid from a shed.
In his testimony De Klerk said Mantsoe took them to the location in Lyndhurst where he dumped the body in a pit, doused it in petrol and set it alight.
On their return to the police station, De Klerk asked if Mantsoe was “satisfied with what he pointed out” and Mantsoe answered in the affirmative. De Klerk mentioned Mantsoe had signed the document recording the point-out. The document was then submitted to the judge.
The prosecutor then asked De Klerk to describe the photographs that the were taken on May 11. De Klerk continued, describing and showing Judge Johnson, pictures of the murder accused pointing out the various locations.
De Klerk then stepped down from the stand. The matter continues in the Johannesburg high court.