As Mantsoe languishes at a Johannesburg police station with his court date set for May 24, a friend who has known him for 16 years has shed more light on his character.
Stephanie Leong, the best friend of Mokoena, said Mantsoe could quote Bible scripture verbatim and was known to be spiritual and God-fearing. This was what drew Mokoena to him despite his alleged abusive behaviour, her friends said.
Speaking to Sowetan LIVE, Mantsoe’s friend, Thabang Mlangeni, said he was not known to be aggressive.
“I have never seen someone as calm as him; he is humble, a churchgoer and in the years I have known him, I have never seen him angry,” Mlangeni said.
“I’m still shocked at the news. At the moment, we can’t say he is innocent or not until he says what really happened [in court] because none of us knows what transpired.”
Mantsoe’s mother, Florence Khumalo, said she had sent a letter to the Mokoenas to apologise for their son’s connection to the murder. She said they had raised him to be a good and law-abiding citizen, and they did not condone gender-based violence of any kind.
“You and the country at large are hurting, you are angry, and we acknowledge the anger. We do not have the answers to what happened, but we do sympathise with your family for your loss.
“As a family we sincerely pray for a speedy conclusion of all the processes to follow, because Karabo was also our own, she came to us, we knew her, and we loved her,” the letter states.
Mokoena’s memorial service is taking place today at Diepkloof hall in Soweto. She will be buried on Friday with the funeral procession beginning at 8am.