3 May 2018 | Sandile Mantsoe, an Adventist in South Africa, has been found guilty of murdering his ex-girlfriend, Karabo Mokoena, by South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg. South Africa’s news24 reported that Mokoena’s burned remains were discovered in April 2017, in the Lyndhurst area of Johannesburg. At the time of the murder, Mantsoe, a married father of three, was reported to be estranged from his wife and had been in a past romantic relationship with Mokoena.

Mantsoe was described as an active member of the Adventist Church in Lyndhurst. He stabbed Mokoena to death and attempted to hide the murder by burning her body. In addition to finding Mantsoe guilty of murder, acting Judge Peet Johnson, also found Mantsoe guilty of defeating the ends of justice and of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm.

Mantsoe had attempted to frame Mokoena as angry and depressed. He said he had tried to be a positive influence on her. He also claimed that Mokoena used to beat him up and was “addicted” to fast living. He added that Mokoena used to cut herself and that her sister had witnessed this behavior.

Mantsoe denied the murder and, during his bail application, said that he had disposed of Mokoena’s body after she had committed suicide.

Although they did not deny the allegations against him, some of Mantsoe’s fellow church members told the press that he had been especially targeted by the devil for his evangelistic work as an active lay preacher and church member.

“I never thought that what he did was right, but at the same time, when you understand your Bible and the times we are living in, we know the work he has done for the Lord, we know where he comes from, and where he was going. This could have happened to anyone, but unfortunately, it had to be one of us,” said one of Mantsoe’s fellow church members who wished to remain anonymous, according to news24.

“You must understand, we are living in a time where the devil is taking charge of those people who profess to be working for God, especially once you dedicate yourself too much to God. You become an enemy to the devil. This could happen to anyone, all of us were shocked,” said another member of Mantsoe’s congregation in the Lyndhurst area of Johannesburg.

The BBC reported that Mokoena’s murder sparked outrage about levels of crime against women in South Africa.

According to the Adventist denomination’s Office of Archives, Statistics and Research, there were 175,016 Adventists in South Africa as of June 30, 2016.

To comment, click here