Gauteng MEC for Community Safety, Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane, has welcomed the sentencing of Sandile Mantsoe, saying it augments government’s unwavering war on Gender-Based Violence.
“We hope that the sentencing of Mantsoe will send a strong message to criminals out there that the criminal justice system will not hesitate to impose harsher sentences on those found guilty of such atrocious crimes.
“I want to convey a word of appreciation to the police for the thorough investigation, the arrest of Sandile Mantsoe and putting together a water-tight case before the court,” MEC Nkosi-Malobane said on Thursday.
The South Gauteng High Court Judge Peet Johnson on Thursday sentenced Mantsoe to an effective 32 years in prison – 30 years for the murder of Karabo Mokoena and a further five years for assault, and four years for defeating the ends of justice.
Two of the five years for the assault and three of the four years for the obstruction of justice would run concurrently.
Mantsoe’s lawyers have since indicated that he will seek leave to appeal his conviction and sentence.
Mokoena was murdered and her body burnt beyond recognition in April 2017. Her death sparked a nationwide outrage and debate on the scourge of Gender-Based Violence.
MEC Nkosi-Malobane said that he is hopeful that the sentencing will help restore public confidence in the criminal justice system.
“This is a demonstration that we will continue to deal harshly with anyone who violates the rights of the vulnerable groups, particularly women and children,” said the MEC, hoping that the Mokoena family will also find closure.
The Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) also welcomed the judgment, hoping that it will persuade partners to learn alternative ways of resolving intimate partner conflicts without resorting to violence.
“The killing of Karabo Mokoena has brought back the spotlight on intimate partner killings. These are the issues that top the Commission for Gender Equality agenda and therefore it is the view of the CGE that this scourge should be eradicated completely in South Africa,” said CGE Chairperson Lulama Nare.
Nare hopes that this case sets a precedent in terms of consistency and swiftness in prosecuting gender-based violence cases.
The human rights-based organisation went on to call upon all structures to work together in the eradication of gender-based violence in South Africa.
The commission said it is aware of the laudable policies, procedures and legislative frameworks put in place by the Department of Justice and Correctional Services to ensure an effective administration of justice.