Whilst the late Karabo Mokoena came across as very strong, internally, she was weak.
These were the shocking words uttered by Minister of Women in the Presidency, Susan Shabangu, on Tuesday night’s eNCA’s weekly investigative current affairs programme Checkpoint.
The episode focused on the late 22-year-old’s family, which is grieving her death, allegedly at the hands of her boyfriend, Sandile Mantsoe.
“She was weak and hence she became a victim of abuse. As she tried to deal with her situation in sharing it with other abused women, she ended up being a victim of abuse,” said Shabangu.
At Mokoena’s funeral on Friday, Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini was one of the speakers.
“Our children are growing up in a different time than we did. They love money. Our children are materialistic. Our children can’t see when they are being abused psychologically, emotionally,” she said in her speech.
“Once someone abuses you emotionally, they break you. You are finished. It lowers your confidence,” Dlamini said.
Mokoena’s mother, Lolo, in the exclusive interview with eNCA, said she often warned her daughter that her boyfriend was going to kill her.
“You cannot go on like this, this is not love, it is not a toxic relationship, I do not even know what to call this,” Lolo would tell Karabo.
Karabo started dating the forex trader in October last year.
One day Karabo came back with an injury on her forehead after her boyfriend had head-butted her.
“I wanted to approach him but she said no mummy, this guy is crazy, leave him, it is okay.”
After her parents managed to convince her to lay a charge, she did so, and he laid a counter charge.
Last call to mother
The last time Karabo was seen alive was on April 27 when she returned to Mantsoe’s Sandton apartment.
Her burnt body was found by police in a veld in Lyndhurst, Johannesburg on April 29 after she was reported missing the day before.
She called her mother on April 28 whispering that she could not talk.
It was reported that the couple had had a fight the morning before the young woman had disappeared. They were reportedly seen on that Friday morning entering his Sandton apartment and then he was seen leaving shortly afterwards, wearing a different set of clothes.
He reportedly returned with a waste bin, and left again.
‘Hole in my heart’
Lolo told Checkpoint when she realised her daughter was missing, she went to the police and the police went to Mantsoe’s apartment. They later called her in.
“This policewoman said she wanted to see me alone in the other room… she told me that Karabo is no more. I cried, I cried.
“It was like I had a hole in my heart.”
The family was taken to the scene and Lolo insisted on identifying the remains.
“I did not care that she was ash to ash, I wanted to see my daughter. We did not see her in the drawer, it was like a screen, I could see her toes, I know her toes, she had red cutex,” she told Checkpoint.
The case against Mantsoe has been postponed to May 24 for a formal bail application. The State said it would oppose bail for 27-year-old Mantsoe, who was charged with killing the 22-year-old part-time student and defeating the ends of justice.