The mother of Sandile Mantsoe’s two-year-old daughter on Thursday took to the stand in the Johannesburg High Court to tell the court what a wonderful man he was.
Despite the fact that Mantsoe had split up with her to pursue a relationship with the now deceased Karabo Mokoena‚ Nonhlanhla Dlamini painted a good image of Mantsoe.
“We met at church and we became great friends. We started having a romantic relationship. We had a good relationship‚ he was inspiring‚ and he helped me build my character to make something out of my aspirations. He was a good man‚ loyal‚ someone I can rely on‚” Dlamini said.
She told the court that Mantsoe had been present and supportive during her pregnancy.
“He’s a great father. After we separated‚ he was still supportive‚” said Dlamini.
Asked why the relationship ended‚ Dlamini said it was “because of our own reasons but also because he was in a relationship with Karabo‚” adding that he did not cheat on her. Acting Judge Peet Johnson sought clarity on the mother of Mantsoe’s two other children. Dlamini told the court that‚ despite her separation from Mantsoe‚ she was never a single parent because Mantsoe continued to play an active role in his child’s life.
Johnson put it to Dlamini that Mantsoe’s child would not suffer as his parents could continue supporting her. Dlamini said she did not know how to respond to that.
Mantsoe is awaiting sentencing after being found guilty of assaulting‚ killing and disposing of Mokoena’s body. Her charred remains were found in a ditch last year. Mantsoe‚ who was her on-and-off boyfriend at the time‚ was arrested for her murder. He has maintained that he did not kill her.
Mantsoe has told the court that he returned to his Sandton apartment in April last year and found that Mokoena had committed suicide by stabbing herself in the neck. Out of fear that he would blamed for her death‚ Mantsoe said he disposed of her body. Sentencing proceedings are under way.